Fewer parents in northern Michigan are opting out of vaccinations for their children. Health officials say the trend is positive but there is still more work to do.
In Leelanau County, just over 12 percent of parents requested a vaccine waiver for their kindergarteners this year. That number is down from nearly 20 percent the year before.
In Grand Traverse County, the rate of vaccine waivers is down from 13 percent to just under 10 percent. County Health Officer Wendy Trute says that’s a step in the right direction.
“If we could get down ... to five percent or under in the next couple of years, I think that would be great progress,” said Trute.
Trute says a new task force has been formed to educate schools and the public on immunization safety.
Statewide, Michigan’s rate of vaccine waivers is about five percent – the fourth-highest rate in the country.