Michigan's vaccination waiver rate drops after rule change - WNEM TV 5

Michigan's vaccination waiver rate drops after rule change

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LANSING, Mich. (AP) -

State officials say a change in Michigan's vaccination policy has significantly decreased the rate of schoolchildren receiving immunization waivers.

Preliminary numbers released by the state Thursday show a 39 percent drop in vaccine exemptions statewide since last school year -- nearly 8,000 fewer waiver requests.

The rule, which took effect a year ago, requires parents wanting a nonmedical immunization waiver to first be educated by a local health department about the risks of not being vaccinated. Parents previously could file a philosophical or religious waiver without such a meeting.

Michigan had the country's sixth-highest percentage of kindergartners -- 5.3 percent -- exempted from at least one vaccine in the last academic year.

All kindergarteners, seventh-graders and new students must be up to date on certain immunizations or have a waiver.

Copyright 2016 Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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