Thousands entering Calif. schools without vaccines

By SHEILA V KUMAR and SHAYA TAYEFE MOHAJER Associated Press

September 26, 2011

Last year’s California kindergartners had a record high percentage of parents who used a personal belief exemption to avoid immunization requirements, a development that concerns state health officials.

More than 11,000 kindergartners missed at least one vaccine in 2010 because their parents decided to forgo inoculation. At nearly 2.5 percent of the state’s 470,000 kindergartners, that’s California’s highest rate of declined vaccines since at least 1978, the year before the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine was required.

The debate over childhood vaccinations has been growing throughout California, where last year a deadly spike in whooping cough cases killed 10 babies and sickened more than 9,100 people. The outbreak prompted a state law requiring middle and high school students to get booster shots before going back to school this year.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

2 injured in explosion-fire in north Seattle

September 26, 2011

Two people have been injured in a fire at a north Seattle home that exploded around 6 a.m. Monday and was heard more than a mile away.

Fire Department spokesman Kyle Moore told KOMO Radio a man and woman in their 50s have been taken to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle with burns. One of them has life-threatening injuries and the other is serious.

Moore says the home appears to be a total loss. Firefighters are trying to protect two nearby homes from the flames.

Moore says it’s too soon to say if the explosion and fire are related to a natural gas leak that was reported Sunday in the neighborhood.

The fire is visible from Interstate 5.

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Information from: KOMO-AM, http://www.komoradio.com/

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.