More than 400 Washington foster parents object to flu shots; change their licenses

SEATTLE (AP) — More than 400 Washington foster parents are giving up on caring for children younger than 2 because they don't want to get a flu shot, which is required for the license to care for babies and toddlers.

The Seattle Times reports at least 389 foster parents have asked to change their licenses to only accept older children after a new rule was announced in January. State health officials say another 16 have suspended their licenses entirely.

That means about 8 percent of the 4,000 certified foster parents in the state will no longer be eligible to care for the about 1,000 children under 2 needing a foster parent.

State officials note, however, that many of the people changing their foster parent status do not accept the youngest children.