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Huckleberries Online

More Idaho parents nix vaccinations

Ashley Hunt comforts her son, Noah, as certified medical assistant Toni Piacquaddio gives him a third vaccination shot during his one-year checkup recently at the Group Health Lidgerwood facility.

TWIN FALLS, Idaho (AP) — Idaho Department of Health and Welfare officials say more parents are refusing to immunize their children.

It's the fifth year in a row that the number of people claiming vaccination exemptions has increased.

The Times-News reports that for the current school year, close to 370 children in south-central Idaho were exempted from vaccinations. That's about 4 percent of the kids enrolled in school in the region.

Idaho requires students in kindergarten through seventh grade to receive several immunizations before attending school, including vaccines for tetanus, pertussis and polio. But the state allows parents to exempt their kids for medical, religious and philosophical reasons.

South Central Public Health District Nurse Lisa Klamm says as more children stop getting the shots, the chances of catching potentially fatal diseases like polio increase.

What do you think about the increase of vaccination exemptions in Idaho?

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About this blog

D.F. Oliveria is a columnist and blogger for The Spokesman-Review. Print Huckleberries is a past winner of the Herb Caen Memorial Column contest by the National Association of Newspaper Columnists. The Readership Institute of Northwestern University cited this blog as a good example of online community journalism.

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