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DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM/AP)A rise in the number of Texas students who forgo vaccinations is troubling public health officials and runs contrary to efforts in California and elsewhere to ensure students get immunized.

Ten years ago there were about 10,000 Texas students exempt from at least one federally recommended vaccination, and that number climbed last year to nearly 41,000.

Last year, Governor Greg Abbott said he recognized the important public health benefits of vaccines, but supported the Texas law allowing families to opt out of them.

Texas is one of 18 states that allow parents to cite religion or personal beliefs in exempting their children from vaccination. Texas began allowing exemptions for reasons of conscience in 2003.

Some parents and professionals in the medical community believe children receive too many vaccinations in too short a window of time, with the risks of vaccination potentially outweighing the benefits for otherwise healthy children.

Students who aren’t fully vaccinated account for less than 1 percent of the 5.2 million students enrolled in Texas schools.

California passed a new law last year that allows only medical exemptions after an outbreak of measles at Disneyland.

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