Maine bill seeks to boost immunizations

Estimated read time: Less than a minute

This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — A state lawmaker has proposed a bill that would make it more difficult for Maine parents to opt out of immunizing their children.

The Portland Press Herald ( reports that Maine's opt-out rate for children entering kindergarten has climbed recently to 5.2 percent in the 2013-14 school year, the fifth-highest in the nation.

Democratic Rep. Richard Farnsworth, of Portland, says many parents opt out based on mostly unfounded fears that immunizations can be harmful.

To gain a philosophic exemption, Maine parents need only sign a form.

Farnsworth's measure would require parents who wish to opt out for philosophic reasons to first consult a primary care professional, such as a doctor or nurse practitioner. After the discussion, if the parents still don't want their children vaccinated, they would need a medical professional's signature.


Information from: Portland Press Herald,

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Related topics

The Associated Press


    Catch up on the top news and features from, sent weekly.
    By subscribing, you acknowledge and agree to's Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

    KSL Weather Forecast