COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — State health officials say the number of South Carolina parents opting not to vaccinate their children is on the rise.
Media outlets report Department of Health and Environmental Control data show the number of children whose parents chose not to have them vaccinated for religious reasons has grown by nearly 4,666 kids over the past five years.
There are six different vaccinations against diseases for school-age children.
DHEC officials say religious or medical exemptions are allowed, but they still encourage all families to vaccinate their children. During a disease outbreak, those who opted-out of vaccination would miss school.
The number of children not vaccinated during the 2017-18 school year because of religious reasons was about 9,427. That’s 1.18 percent of the nearly 800,000 children enrolled.