Two Reports Show Increase in School Immunization Exemptions

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Two reports indicate a growing trend of more schoolchildren going without immunizations.

On Sunday, the Spokesman-Review's Betsy Russell reported that North Idaho recorded a 7.4 percent immunization exemption rate (compared with 3.8 percent statewide). According to the report, nearly all parents who chose not to have their children immunized cited personal reasons.

Today, the Associated Press reported that 1 in 20 school kindergartners nationwide did not receive all the vaccines required for attendance, based on parents seeking exemptions from the shots.

Alaska had the highest exemption rate in 2010-2011, at nearly 9 percent. Colorado's rate was 7 percent. Minnesota 6.5 percent, Vermont and Washington 6 percent, and Oregon, Michigan and Illinois were close behind.

According to the AP, exemption seekers "are often middle-class, college-educated white people, but there are often a mix of views and philosophies. Exemption hot spots like Sedona, Ariz., and rural northeast Washington have concentrations of both alternative medicine-preferring as well as government-fearing libertarians."

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