- Associated Press - Wednesday, February 4, 2015

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - A bill to require meningitis vaccinations for Nebraska youths has won first-round approval from lawmakers.

The measure advanced Wednesday on a 28-3 vote, despite arguments from some senators that parents should be able to decide for their children. The measure was endorsed by public health groups and Nebraskans who were scarred by the disease.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends all students get immunized before entering seventh grade, and again after at age 16. The bill by Sen. Bob Krist of Omaha would require immunizations at both of those of points, but parents could still opt out for religious reasons.

Sen. Mike Groene of North Platte says parents should be educated about the disease but not required to have their children vaccinated.

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The bill is LB18

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