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Rising Number of Conn. Kids Exempted from Vaccines

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (AP) — An increasing number of Connecticut students are being exempted from vaccinations as parents cite allergic reactions or religious prohibitions.

The Connecticut Post reports (http://bit.ly/Qi0DQY) that according to the state Department of Public Health, 1,056 children entering kindergarten and seventh grade last year received exemptions. That’s up by 127 percent from 2003, when the state recorded 465 such exemptions.

Vaccination coverage in Connecticut still remains high, with more than 97 percent receiving various vaccinations.

A medical exemption excuses a child due to an allergic, pediatric cancer or HIV or other immune disorders.

State health officials say 111 cases of pertussis — a contagious bacterial disease — have been reported this year and that the state could reach a 10-year high. Last year, there were 68 cases.

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Information from: Connecticut Post, http://www.connpost.com

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