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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -- A judge has ruled that it isn't unconstitutional for Missouri health officials to encourage families to vaccinate their children in a form they must complete to get a religious exemption.

KCUR reports that Senior U.S. District Judge Howard Sachs wrote in Friday's ruling that the state's freedom to advocate vaccination as governmental policy is "well settled."

The lawsuit was filed by Linus Baker, who is the grandfather of a student at Crossroads Academy in Kansas City. He also is representing families from Bates, Christian and Miller counties.

Baker says he disagrees with the ruling. Sachs deferred the ruling until Dec. 16 to give the Bakers a chance to secure an exemption.

Baker also has sued in Kansas to keep from having to vaccinate his son. That case is pending.

Information from: KCUR-FM, http://www.kcur.org

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