The Department of Health and Human Services data shows 3.2 percent of kindergartners and seventh-graders received immunization waivers in 2016 compared to 3.1 percent the year before. The immunization rate was 4.8 percent in 2014. Since 2015, the state has required parents to attend educational sessions if they want to delay or decline immunizations for diseases like measles, mumps, whooping cough, polio, diphtheria, hepatitis B and chickenpox. 


Doctors, parents and public health experts gathered in Lansing with one simple message – vaccinate your children.

Monday marked the launch of the “I Vaccinate” campaign. It’s a multi-media advertising and educational campaign aimed at raising the state’s immunization rate.

Michigan is currently ranked 43rd in the nation for immunization rates among children 19 to 35 months.

Lawsuit challenges vaccine counseling requirement

Jul 11, 2016
Alex Proimos via Wikimedia | CC BY 2.0

A legal challenge has been filed against a state rule that requires counseling for parents who have a religious objection to vaccinating their children.

For two years, Michigan has required parents who have a religious objection to vaccinating their school-aged children to show up at their local health department for a counseling session on the benefits of immunizations.

Kate Oliveri is an attorney with Thomas More Law Center, which filed the legal challenge.

She says the state should not take sides.

Alex Proimos via Wikimedia | CC BY 2.0

State officials encourage families to keep up-to-date on vaccinations after seeing a more than 50 percent jump in chickenpox cases this year.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services says initial numbers show 239 chickenpox cases reported in 2016 through April.

That’s 57 percent higher than last year.

The MDHHS says nearly all outbreaks this year occurred in individuals who were not vaccinated.

The Michigan appeals court says parents who are declared unfit can't prevent their children from being vaccinated against illness.

In a 3-0 decision this week, the court affirmed a decision by a Kent County judge who ordered vaccinations for four children in foster care.

The request was made by a state foster care worker who was assigned to their case.

The children's mother had objected to vaccinations on religious grounds.

But Judge Paul Denenfeld in 2015 said she had forfeited the right to make decisions for the children.

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Michigan health officials are emphasizing the need to keep children's vaccinations up to date following recent chickenpox outbreaks. The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services says Tuesday that outbreaks have been reported in recent weeks in Calhoun, Grand Traverse, Muskegon and Wayne counties and have involved mainly unvaccinated children in school settings. Immunization against chickenpox and several other diseases is required for school entry in Michigan.

Flu vaccine syringe
CDC Public Health Image Library /

Flu season is officially here, and Michigan health agencies are urging residents to keep their flu vaccinations up to date for adults and children.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services says three pediatric deaths occurred from the flu last year.

It says vaccination rates for Michigan children ages five to 12 experienced a "significant" drop last year, to 52 percent.

The department says children, seniors and those with chronic health conditions are at increased risk of catching the flu.