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Originally published August 23, 2012 at 6:01 PM | Page modified August 23, 2012 at 6:17 PM

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Vaccine exemptions for kindergartners here still among highest in nation

Parents in Washington are still more likely than those in most states to seek exemptions from vaccine requirements for their kindergarten-age...

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Parents in Washington are still more likely than those in most states to seek exemptions from vaccine requirements for their kindergarten-age children, but a new law requiring them to first seek advice from doctors appears to be having an effect.

A new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says Washington is the 8th highest state in the rate of exemptions claimed by parents. But it dropped from 6.2 percent in the 2009-2010 school year to 4.7 in the 2011-2012 year, the report said.

The state health department attributes that to the law that too effect last year requiring parents seeking an exemption for medical, religious or philosophic reasons to provide evidence that a health-care provider has informed them of the risks and benefits of vaccines.

The state with the highest rate of exemptions was Alaska, with 7 percent. Mississippi, which does not allow exemptions for religious or philosophical reasons, was the lowest, with a 0.0 rate.

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