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More students are complying with state law in the Spokane School District when it comes to immunizations.

Washington state law says before a child can attend school, parents need to provide proof of immunization status or have signed a certificate of exemption form.

The Spokane School District started enforcing that rule in earnest this week.

District spokesman Kevin Morrison said a number of students were sent home on Monday, for at least one classroom period.

Oregon and Washington lawmakers flinched within hours of each other Wednesday when it came to toughening mandatory vaccination requirements for schoolchildren.

Legislative moves to limit school immunization exemptions are drawing vocal opposition from some parents. Opponents of mandatory vaccination crowded a public hearing at the state capitol in Olympia Tuesday, and the scene could repeat itself in Salem Wednesday.

Centers for Disease Control

Some Northwest lawmakers want to make it harder for parents to opt out of vaccinating their children.

The Centers for Disease Control says a measles outbreak that spread from California's Disneyland has now reached 14 states and infected 102 people. No cases have been confirmed in Idaho, but many neighboring states are on the list including Utah, Washington and Oregon.

"We worry that it’s only a matter of time before we do see measles cases in Idaho," says Dr. Christine Hahn, the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare's medical director for the division of public health.

Oregon Leads In Un-Vaccinated Kids

Oct 16, 2014
ILR / Flickr

 According to the report, in Idaho, 6.4 percent of kindergartners were exempt, while in Washington it was 4.7 percent.A report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows 7.1 percent of kindergartners in Oregon were exempted from vaccinations during last school year. Most of the exemptions were for religious or philosophic reasons.

That’s a far cry from just a few years ago when Washington has the highest rate of unvaccinated kindergartners in the county.


Public health officials say recent measles cases in the Northwest highlight the need to be vaccinated against the infection. While the highly-contagious illness remains rare, the Centers for Disease Control is reporting an uptick nationally in the number of cases this year.

During the 2008 to 2009 school year, The Centers for Disease Control said Washington state kindergartners were the least vaccinated in the United States.

Oregon lawmakers want to make parents think twice before deciding not to have their kids immunized. The Oregon Senate Thursday approved a measure that would add steps to the way parents can opt out of the requirement.

The Oregon Health Authority says more than six percent of children enter kindergarten without the required number of vaccinations. It has been the highest highest rate in the nation, and it's been climbing.

SALEM, Ore. – A bill in Salem would make it harder for Oregon parents to opt out of immunizing their children. Virginia Alvino reports.