Thousands of US kindergartners unvaccinated without waivers

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COLUMBUS, Ohio – States are heatedly debating whether to make it more difficult for students to avoid vaccinations for religious or philosophical reasons amid the worst measles outbreak in decades, but schoolchildren invoking such waivers are outnumbered in many states by those who give no excuse at all for lacking their shots.

Instead, data reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showed that a majority of unvaccinated or undervaccinated kindergartners in 10 of 27 states reporting were allowed to enroll in school provisionally without any formal exemption.

Poor access to health care keeps some of those children from getting inoculated against some of the most preventable contagious diseases.

Experts say it’s likely that many or even most of those children ultimately get all their vaccinations, as state laws require, but no one knows for sure.

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