- Associated Press - Thursday, July 16, 2015

HELENA, Mont. (AP) - Health officials are reminding parents to vaccinate kids against chickenpox and whooping cough as a new state law takes effect this fall.

Legislators passed a law that kicks in Oct. 1 removing a whooping cough vaccination exemption for kids over the age of 6 and requiring two chicken pox vaccinations for K-12 students.

Kids in grades six and up will need one whooping cough vaccination under the law.

The Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services said in a news release this week that by October, parents need to get kids vaccinated or provide proof to schools that they already have been.

There were 49 cases of whooping cough in Lewis and Clark County last year. Statewide data shows the highest per-capita rate of the infection in the country.

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