Fewer Michigan parents seek vaccination waivers

By LAURA BOHANNON

Capital News Service

LANSING — The percentage of Michigan parents opting out of vaccinating their children has continued to drop since the state changed its waiver rules, Health and Human Services Director Nick Lyon said.

“We’ve changed the way the waivers worked for parents to basically ask for an exemption for vaccinations for their children,” he said. “We’ve seen those waiver rates drop from 4.6 percent in November 2014 to 2.9 percent in 2016.”

Now, Michigan parents must speak with a public health provider to obtain a nonmedical waiver. In 2015, the year the changes were implemented, statewide waiver rates dropped to 3.1 percent.

The changes were prompted by the large number of Michigan parents waiving vaccines for their children. Michigan has one of the highest immunization waiver rates in the country, with some counties reporting rates as high as 12.5 percent, according to the state Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS). Continue reading

Vaccination waivers drop, decreasing disease risk in schools

By JASMINE WATTS
Capital News Service

LANSING — Michigan schoolchildren are less susceptible to diseases such as pertussis, chickenpox and measles, thanks to a recent decrease in immunization waivers, according to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.

Michigan has experienced a 39 percent decrease in the number of waivers submitted for the 2015-2016 school year, compared to the same time last year, the department said in a news release.

Waivers, which some parents seek for religious or philosophical reasons, exempt children from required vaccines to enter a specific grade. The fewer children who are vaccinated, the higher the risk of spreading preventable diseases.
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