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Officials push immunizations as part of back-to-school events

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Steve Carmody
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Michigan Radio

Back-to-school events are taking place around Michigan this week.

Thousands turned out at an event in Lansing today.  Along with school supplies and back packs, students could also get their required immunizations.

“Many of them are ones without a primary care doctor … to make sure the families are following up on that,” says Joan Jackson Johnson, Human Relations director for the city of Lansing.

Incoming first grader Detaevius Coston was not happy to get three immunizations. But his mother Brandy Johnson was glad.

“I feel like it’s important to keep him caught up on his shots just for his health,” says Johnson. 

There’s a push on this year to discourage parents from opting their children out of their required vaccinations.   

Michigan has the 4th highest opt-out rate in the country. 

Starting this year, parents have to attend a class at their local health department if they want to opt their children out of required immunizations.

Several county health departments report a large number of parents applying for the classes.  

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Radio since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
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