Some Vermonters may get religion as vaccine outs narrow

FILE - In this April 20, 2012, file photo, nurse Catherine Craige draws a chickenpox vaccination in Berlin, Vt. Vermont parents who don't want their kids vaccinated can take a "philosophical exemption" for the last time in 2015, as Vermont became the first state to do away with the philosophical exemption. Lawmakers left the religious exemption intact. (AP Photo/Toby Talbot, File)
FILE - In this April 20, 2012, file photo, nurse Catherine Craige draws a chickenpox vaccination in Berlin, Vt. Vermont parents who don't want their kids vaccinated can take a "philosophical exemption" for the last time in 2015, as Vermont became the first state to do away with the philosophical exemption. Lawmakers left the religious exemption intact. (AP Photo/Toby Talbot, File)

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) – National polls have rated Vermont the least religious state, but there are signs that may not stop some parents from claiming faith to exempt their kids from getting fully vaccinated.

Vermont earlier this year passed a law removing the “philosophical exemption” that allowed parents to sign a state Health Department form saying they did not want their children forced to meet the general requirement that they get dozens of shots as a condition of enrolling in school.

While the philosophical exemption is going away, lawmakers left the religious exemption intact, and that means parents have the option of choosing that in place of the philosophical exemption.

Some school nurses say they’re hearing from some families that they’ll switch to the religious exemption, which is simply a matter of checking a different box on a form.

(Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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