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Kids Getting Exempted From Required Immunizations

A new law requires students to get immunized to be let into school, but many parents are asking for their kids to be exempted.

The law passed by the legislature in April requires kids in seventh grade and up to get immunizations for tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis, and meningococcal.

“Some of these diseases can cause severe illness, can cause death,? Family and Community Health Services Division Director Tricia Codding said.

The law was put in place to help prevent outbreaks of these potentially dangerous diseases, especially in schools.

“We do know that being inoculated does create a healthier community and a healthier school,? District 25 Superintendent Mary Vagner said.

The Health Department said this will keep more kids healthy and prevent missed days of school.

“Without these diseases being present, then more kids can stay in school and increase their learning as well as decreasing health care costs,? Codding said.

The law says if kids don’t get the immunizations they won’t be let in school, but parents can get out of this requirement. They can write up an simple exemption request if they don’t want to immunize their child.

“A lot of them are really concerned that immunizations may cause other types of problems. I think some parents really have that concern. There is a lot of really inaccurate information about immunizations out there,? Codding said.

But the Health Department said these exemptions put kids at risk.

“They also need to realize that if we have an outbreak of a particular disease, than those kids who are not immunized may not be allowed to be in school,? Codding said.

“There is concern, just because there isn’t that preventative measure to protect their health,? Vagner said.

According to the Department of Health and Welfare, the state’s exemption rate for these vaccines is 3.8 percent.

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