- Associated Press - Friday, January 30, 2015

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) - New Mexico health officials say the number of vaccine exemptions among school-aged children is on the rise.

State law allows parents to request vaccination exemptions for their children based on medical need or religious beliefs. The exemptions registered with the state Health Department’s immunization program topped 3,335 in 2014. That’s an increase of nearly 500 since 2012.

Health Secretary Retta Ward pointed to the prevalence of measles in many parts of the world. Since travelers continue to bring the disease to the U.S., she says the department wants New Mexicans to know it can spread in communities where people are not vaccinated.

New Mexico’s most recent case of measles was confirmed in December in a baby who did not receive the first measles vaccination. The baby was hospitalized and recovered.

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