Healthcare officials urge parents to get kids vaccinated

LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – The healthcare community is applauding a measure approved by a legislative joint committee.

The 2014 measure requires those looking to opt out of immunizations to obtain a waiver before entering school.

Michigan has the fourth highest exemption rate in the country.

“We’ve seen a trend over the last 10 years of more people refusing vaccinations,” said Dr. Mary Mora of Capital Area Pediatrics.

At Capital Area Pediatrics, doctors and nurses feel so strongly about getting immunizations, they won’t accept new patients who refuse to get their shots.

“They just feel that we have too many vaccines and that their child is not at risk,” added Dr. Mora.

Dr. Mora says you’re not just risking your child’s health or those around them a little, but a lot.

“If we don’t have these vaccines, these diseases come back and these diseases that we immunize against by far and all are very life threatening.”

“This year we have over 1,000 cases of pertussis, at this time last year that number was around 700,” said Jennifer Smith of Michigan Community Health.

Smith says in addition, five cases of measles have already been reported so far this year.

“I don’t understand why parents would want to opt out on having their children be healthy,” said Jennifer Marshall, Lansing, mother.

For this Lansing mom she’s made sure her son’s been up to date since this preemie was born and hopes to see this room full of those willing to get their shots for everyone’s safety.

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