Immunization waiver numbers dropping across Michigan

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(WLNS) – With back to school just around the corner, local health departments are offering free immunizations and this year, the option to opt out is continuing to decrease.

When it comes to immunizations not everyone is 100% on board.

“I think, maybe, it needs to be developed more,” Mother of four Sarah Fox said.

Fox says she no longer has kids get chicken pox or flu shots.

“The reason I don’t do flu shots is because we’ve had them done in the past and we just got very sick from them,” Fox said.

For Fox, her decision to not have her kids get the chicken pox shot is a philosophical reason, which now not only requires a waiver, but for the parent to take a class on the reason behind immunizations.

“The good that is done by immunizations far outweighs any potential harm,” Ingham County Health Department Health Officer Linda Vail said.

Vail says, requiring the class has made the number of philosophical waiver requests drop. Some parents change their minds after the meeting, while others were using the waiver as just a last minute excuse.

“There were a lot of waivers that were just being done out of uh oh, I didn’t get this done. I don’t have time for an appointment right now,” Vail said.

For parents who support immunizations, they say it not only impacts their kids and other kids at schools, but also decreases the chances of all the negative affects a student being sick brings with is.

“You prevent having to go out and buy certain medicines, and treating it different ways, hospital bills and stuff, you can avoid all those,” Father Deaaron Williams said.

In 2010 the state reached the highest number of waiver requests across the nation, since then it has fallen by more than 5%.

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