November 2015

Editor’s Note: Tougher waiver for shots is working:

Ingrid Jacques, The Detroit News12:13 a.m. EDT October 1, 2015

Michigan’s new vaccine policy for schoolchildren appears to be working, and that’s good news for families.

The past effectiveness of vaccines at eradicating common childhood diseases seems to have made many parents immune to their importance. But some of Michigan’s largest counties are seeing significant drops in vaccine waivers, thanks to new a state requirement.

State health officials were concerned that Michigan had the fourth-highest vaccine exemption rate in the country, so they made the process for obtaining a waiver more difficult. Starting in January, the state began requiring that parents get medical information from a county health official about vaccines before they could get a waiver for their child.

By the first day of school, students should have immunization records or a waiver on file.

Recent outbreaks of measles in Michigan and other states make it clear how important vaccines still are in preventing serious infectious illnesses.

Some parents are going to resist this new requirement, but the additional information should encourage more families to do the right thing.