OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) -- State health officials say more Washington kindergarten students are getting the vaccines they need before entering school.
The Health Department says 85.5 percent of kindergarteners had all their vaccines required for school before starting this current school year. That's a 1 percent increase from the previous school year.
The rate for pertussis, or whooping cough, vaccines is at an all-time high. The disease had been at epidemic levels last year in Washington. About 92.4 percent of kindergarten students entered school with that vaccination. State officials credit awareness of the epidemic for encouraging more people get the vaccine.
Parents are allowed to get an exemption from vaccine requirements under certain conditions, such as religious beliefs or a medical condition. The rates for kids entering kindergarten with any type of exemption held steady in 2012-2013 at 4.6 percent.