New state waiver rule for vaccinations

MARQUETTE — School is just around the corner and officials from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services say they want to remind families about vaccinations. Usually families with kids entering a childcare facility, kindergarten, seventh grade or moving to a new school need to either look into vaccinations or seek a waiver. As of last January the M-D-H-H-S added a new rule that says before a family could attain a waiver they need to speak with a health educator at the local health department.

Chief Medical Executive for the MDDHS, Dr. Eden Wells says, “One of the neat things about our local health departments is to one, go in and first talk about what vaccinations are needed to get the child up-to-date, then to be asked whether or not they’re willing to have the vaccines there at the health department. Also, if the parent says, ‘Well, no, I would really would like to have a waiver,’ the health educator will sit down and talk with the parent.”

The new rule was implemented because Michigan has a relatively high waiver rate of five percent. In the U-P, Houghton and Gogebic County’s waiver rates are higher than the state average. If scheduling is an issue, try to book annual physicals in August right before school starts.

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To find out where your county’s waiver rate ranks vs. the state average click here.