Feds: WA has highest rate of vaccine exemptions

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SEATTLE (AP) -- A new federal study says that Washington state has the highest rate of parents exempting their children from vaccines.

The report by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a first of its kind, says that 6.2 percent of kindergarteners in the state have parent-signed exemptions for one or more vaccines for diseases such as polio, whooping cough, measles hepatitis B and chickenpox. The parent exemptions overrule the school requirements for these vaccines.

State Secretary of Healthy Mary Selecky says that kids who aren't fully immunized aren't protected from these health risks. She says that people can't be complacent on the health risks, and that non-vaccinated children spread the diseases easier.

The data from the CDC was collected from the 2009-2010 school year.