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Kids Heading To School Need Vaccinations, But Exceptions Still Apply

A child receives immunization for polio
United States Agency for International Development

Ohio has had some of the worst numbers in the country when it comes to immunizations. And as school starts back up, health advocates say new laws are making kids safer. But, others want parents to know they still have options.

Ohio now requires essentially every child to be immunized against 14 different diseases before going into daycare facilities. Then there are a few more vaccinations added for kids going into grade school and throughout their education.

And while doctors and public health groups stress the importance of vaccines, the National Vaccine Information Center wants parents to know that—in Ohio—they have the right to refuse vaccinations for their kids on medical, religious or philosophical grounds.

Melissa Wervey Arnold—CEO of the Ohio Chapter for the American Academy of Pediatrics—says even with those exceptions, requiring vaccinations can give parents the nudge they need to get their kids their shots.

Wervey Arnold: “Life gets busy and time gets away from them especially with so many working families it just kind of falls to the side and they get around to it eventually.”

There are three states that only allow a medical exemption for kids who attend school: California, Mississippi and West Virginia.