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Keep your kids’ vaccinations up to date

We join District Health Department No. 4 and the Northern Michigan Public Health Alliance in urging every parent to make sure their kids’ vaccinations are up to date before the pending start of the 2023-24 school year.

Vaccines that have been proven safe and effective not only protect your child, but other children in their classrooms, as well. Vaccinations protect kids from everything from measles to polio to hepatitis B and more.

Overall, Northeast Michigan does pretty well, though most of the region has a higher rate of parents receiving waivers from statutory vaccine requirements than the state as a whole, News staff writer Michael Gonzalez reported recently.

Michigan’s 2022 child immunization rate was 91.4%, with a 4.8% waiver rate.

Alpena County had a 92.1% vaccination rate and a 6.9% waiver rate. Presque Isle County had a 90.4% vaccination rate, with an 8% waiver rate. Montmorency County had an 89.9% vaccination rate and an 8% waiver rate. Alcona County had the best stats, with a 98.8% vaccination rate and a 0% waiver rate.

Parents can receive a waiver for medical reasons or over religious or other objections.

We respect every parent’s decision, because parents know what’s best for their child and their families.

But we would like to see Northeast Michigan vaccination rates increase closer to that 100% mark and to see those waiver rates drop closer to zero.

It’s a proven way to keep kids safe in the classroom.

We urge every parent reading this to keep their children’s vaccinations up to date.

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