graph showing decline in mortality after vaccination initiatives.
Centers for Disease Control

County health departments are in their usual August scramble to schedule meetings with parents who don't want to vaccinate their children.


Chicken pox cases are up nearly 60% from this time last year, state health officials say.

The majority of those 239 cases were people who hadn’t been vaccinated.

"There's this misconception that because they're not seeing the illness as much as they were in the past, that there isn't a need for immunizations,” says Jennifer Eisner, a spokesperson for the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.

“But really, what that's showing is that immunizations are effective, and they're still necessary."

Daniel Paquet / flickr creative commons http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

Parents who've been judged to be "unfit" during child protection proceedings cannot prevent the vaccination of their children on religious grounds, according to a 3-0 decision this week by a Michigan Court of Appeals panel.

The Michigan appeals court upheld the decision of a Kent County judge to order physician-recommended immunizations for the four children – despite the mother's religious objections. The trial judge found the vaccinations were in the best interest of the children and society.

Steve Carmody / 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.


The clock is ticking for parents who waited to get their children vaccinated, or who haven't yet acquired a waiver from vaccines.

A new state policy requires parents to attend an educational session with a county public health nurse to get a vaccine waiver for religious or philosophical reasons. 

In the past, parents could just pick up the waiver at school and fill it out.

The policy is intended to reduce the numbers of children who attend school without being vaccinated against diseases. 

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

A new poll shows shifting views on the safety of childhood vaccines.

The University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children's Hospital National Poll on Children's Health asked parents how their views have changed during the past year.

Poll director Matt Davis says a third of parents say they believe vaccines are safer and more effective than they thought a year ago. A smaller percentage have more doubts.