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Minn. Parents Speak Out Against Adding Vaccine Requirements

Posted at: 06/27/2013 7:29 PM
Updated at: 06/27/2013 7:41 PM
By: Leslie Dyste

The Minnesota Department of Health says it wants to protect children from more dangerous diseases and require more vaccines. But, a small group of parents say enough is enough.

More than 98 percent of Minn. parents are getting their children vaccinated, according to Department of Health statistics.

In a 2009 investigation, the number of parents with a conscientious objection spiked 71 percent in five years.

Thursday, parents with objections voiced their opinions at a hearing. The parents who spoke up were not happy. But, the health department says science is overwhelmingly on its side.

Nearly all of Minn. school children are required to get vaccinations including measles mumps rubella, polio, tetanus, chickenpox and more.

The Department of Health says those rules are out of date so now they want the required amount of vaccines to go from six to nine.

Kids would be required to get Hepatitis A and B vaccines, along with meningococcal. The tetanus shot would be replaced with a more comprehensive shot that covers tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis. These are changes that the federal government recommends.

One parent shared her daughter's story, who suffered seizures and then eventually died after getting a vaccine.

By law, the Department of Health had to hold the hearing.

The new vaccine requirements are expected to be in place by September of next year.