Some Parents Say No to Vaccines, Creating Public Health Risks

Thursday, April 3rd, 2008
This post was written by Melanie Matthews

“Say No to Drugs Vaccines”?

According to a recent article in the NY Times, a growing number of parents in California (and 19 other states including Ohio and Texas) are opting to not vaccinate their children against some diseases such as measles, mumps and rubella. Taking advantage of state exemptions to laws that require school-aged children to be vaccinated, some parents are not vaccinating their children in fear that such vaccines are linked to autism, a growing epidemic among children today.

While these parents may be protecting their children from what they feel is the bigger problem, they are also exposing others in the community to these potentially deadly diseases. Children too young to receive the vaccinations are at risk, as well as those who have had their shots, as not all vaccinations are 100 percent effective.

“The very success of immunizations has turned out to be an Achilles’ heel,” said Dr. Mark Sawyer, a pediatrician and infectious disease specialist at Rady Children’s Hospital in San Diego. “Most of these parents have never seen measles, and don’t realize it could be a bad disease so they turn their concerns to unfounded risks. They do not perceive risk of the disease but perceive risk of the vaccine.”

Some “exemptster” parents are intentionally exposing their children these diseases by sending them to “parties” to contract specific diseases so they develop natural immunities to them.

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