Number of kids opting out of vaccinations has dropped in Washing - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Number of kids opting out of vaccinations has dropped in Washington

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KENNEWICK, Wash. -- Washington's rate of exemption from vaccines required for school has dropped significantly in the first year since passage of a law that changed the parental opt-out process.  Kindergarten exemption rates for required immunizations dropped to 4.5 percent for the 2011-2012 school year compared to 6.0 percent in 2010-2011 and 6.2 percent in 2009-2010.

"I'm pleased that this rate is headed in the right direction because more kids are protected from diseases that vaccines can prevent," said Secretary of Health Mary Selecky. "Disease can spread quickly in schools and the whooping cough epidemic is a reminder about how serious these diseases can be."

Under the new law, parents seeking an exemption must get information from a health care provider about the benefits and risks of vaccine before the provider signs an exemption form. A Certificate of Exemption form is required for most types of exemptions.

In Benton County, the exemption rates for Kindergartners are better than the state's, going from 4.7% in 2010-2011 school year to 3.3% in 2011-2012 school year.

In Franklin County, , the exemption rates for Kindergartners went from 3.4% in 2010-2011 school year to 1.8% in 2011-2012 school year.

The Benton Franklin Health District is doing yet another clinic next Tuesday at 5pm at their Kennewick office.  The fee is as low as five dollars for those who haven't had their shots yet.

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