Parents requesting exemptions from back-to-school shots

MASON CITY, Iowa – Back-to-school vaccines are a requirement for many school districts, but some families are requesting exemptions from those shots.

Two years ago, nearly 8,000 parents in Iowa requested that their kids be exempt from getting their back-to-school shots. It was a shocking statistic, but its something local public health officials say we shouldn’t be worried about.

This year, the Cerro Gordo County Public Health Department has reported that less than one percent of parents in Cerro Gordo County have requested exemptions from the vaccines, and Bethany Aberg, an immunization nurse, says this number has stayed consistent over the years.

Those exceptions are being made for kids with medical obstacles that could interfere with the effectiveness of the vaccine. Kids dealing with medical issues, like seizures or cancer can opt out of immunizations, and Aberg tells us that families with religious beliefs against vaccines can ask for exemptions as well.

Minnesota also recognizes vaccine exemptions and Aberg tells us that anyone wishing to apply for this exemption is asked to contact their doctor or primary care provider for more information.

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