OLYMPIA, Wash. - State health officials say more Washington kindergarten students are getting the vaccines they need before they enter school.
The Health Department says 85.5% of kindergartners had all their vaccines required for school before starting the 2012-2013 school year. That's a one percent increase from last school year.
The rate for pertussis, or whooping cough, vaccines is at an all-time high. About 92.4 percent of kindergarten students entered school with that vaccination. The disease had been at epidemic levels last year in Washington.
State officials credit awareness of the epidemic for encouraging more people get the vaccine.
Parents are allowed to get an exemption from vaccine requirements under certain conditions, such as religious beliefs or a medical condition. The rates for kids entering kindergarten with any type of exemption held steady in 2012-2013 at 4.6 percent.