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WNIJ's summary of news items around our state.

Religious Exemption Certificates Now Required For Vaccination Opt-Outs

Flickr user frankieleon / "Vaccination" (CC BY 2.0)

Illinois parents who cite religious objections to not having their children immunized will have to get a doctor's signature confirming they've been informed of the risks. 

A new law requires parents of children entering kindergarten and grades six and nine to provide Certificates of Religious Exemption with a health care provider's signature if they opt out of vaccine requirements. Supporters hope it will reduce the number of religious exemptions, which have more than doubled since 2009.

Lawmakers backing the bill were also worried by a recent measles outbreak linked to a suburban Chicago child care center.

Illinois Department of Public Health Director Nirav Shah says vaccines protect entire communities.

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