Cheyenne Goodrich of Norridgewock reassures her son Justin, 10, before getting his first COVID-19 vaccination at the Augusta Armory on Wednesday, Dec. 29, 2021. Credit: Troy R. Bennett / BDN

Even more Maine students received required vaccines during the 2022-23 school year, two years after the state enacted an immunization law for school-age children.

Not long ago Maine had one of the lowest rates of childhood vaccination in the nation, with vaccine opt-out rates reaching the sixth-highest mark in the nation   during the 2018-19 school year, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

According to Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention data, just 0.8 percent of students entering kindergarten requested medical exemptions from the vaccine requirement, the Portland Press Herald reported. That’s down from 1.8 percent of incoming kindergarten students with exemptions reported during the 2021-22 school year.

Maine stopped allowing religious or philosophical objections to common childhood immunizations, including whooping cough and measles, in 2021.

The Legislature   passed the vaccine law in 2019. A people’s veto to repeal the legislation made it to Maine’s ballot in 2020, but voters rejected that effort by   a more than 2-to-1 margin.

Leela Stockley is an alumna of the University of Maine. She was raised in northern Maine, and loves her cat Wesley, her puppy Percy and staying active in the Maine outdoors.