Christie’s vaccine statements aside, N.J. already allows parents to refuse on religious grounds

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Jayden Mercado, 4, sits in his mother Yariluz Ocasio's lap while he gets an influenza vaccine at Boston Children's Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts in this file photo taken January 10, 2013. Photo courtesy of REUTERS/Brian Snyder/Files *Editors: This photo may only be republished with RNS-VACCINES-NJ, originally transmitted on February 3, 2015.

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TRENTON, N.J. (RNS) In the 2013-14 school year, nearly 9,000 New Jersey children used a religious exemption to decline immunizations that under state law children must receive in order to attend school.