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Michigan Tightens Rules On Vaccinations

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Starting Jan. 1, the Michigan Department of Community Health will have more rules going into effect that will make it harder for parents to refuse immunizing their children.

The rules will require parents to take extra steps in order to get permission to skip childhood vaccinations.

WOOD TV 8 reports that parents will have to provide a written statement indicating their religious or philosophical objection to the vaccinations. They will also need to sign a form acknowledging they may be putting their own child, and other children, at risk. Part of the waiver indicates that children may be excluded from school or other programs if they’re not properly vaccinated.

According to the Kent County Health Department, Michigan has the fourth-highest vaccine exemption rate in the country. Only 72 percent of Michigan kids are fully vaccinated.

A recent whooping cough outbreak shut down a 1,200 student charter school in Traverse City for a week. MLive reports the outbreak infected students at 14 other schools and forced hundreds into quarantine. Whooping cough was thought to be eradicated, but Grand Traverse County has an under-vaccination rate at six times the national average.

No matter how you look at it, the state is looking to come down on this starting at the first of the year.

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