FRANKLIN, Tenn. (AP) – The number of unvaccinated kindergarteners in Williamson County whose parents claim a religious exemption to state immunization rules has increased by 62 percent over last year.
This year more than 109 kindergarten students were reportedly listed as using a religious exemption. In 2017-18, that number was 67.
WCS School Health Supervisor Tina Hamblen said some parents dishonestly use the exemption because they are misinformed and fear potential harm from vaccinations.
Vaccinations only work to prevent outbreaks when a large percentage of the population is vaccinated.
Some students with serious health problems cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons.
That’s the case of Ephraim Lober, who will enter kindergarten this year. His mother, Mackenzie Lober says it is terrifying that other unvaccinated kids could threaten her son’s fragile health.