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More parents are opting out of school shots for their kids. In eight states now, more than 1 in 20 public school kindergartners aren't getting all the vaccines required for attendance, an Associated Press analysis found.
That growing trend among parents seeking vaccine exemptions has health officials worried about outbreaks of diseases that once were all but stamped out.
The AP analysis found more than half of states have seen at least a slight rise in the rate of exemptions over the past five years. States with the highest exemption rates are in the West and Upper Midwest.
It's "really gotten much worse," said Mary Selecky, secretary of health for Washington state, where 6 percent of public school parents have opted out.
Rules for exemptions vary by state and can include medical, religious or — in some states — philosophical reasons.
Reasons for skipping some school shots vary. Some parents are skeptical that vaccines are essential. Others fear vaccines carry their own risks. Some find it easier to check a box opting out than the effort to get the shots and required paperwork schools demand. Still others are ambivalent, believing in older vaccines but questioning newer shots against, say, chickenpox.
The number of shots is also giving some parents pause. By the time most children are 6, they will have been stuck with a needle about two dozen times — with many of those shots given in infancy. The cumulative effect of all those shots has not been studied enough, some parents say.
"Many of the vaccines are unnecessary and public health officials don't honestly know what the effect of giving so many vaccines to such small children really are," said Jennifer Margulis, a mother of four and parenting book author in Ashland, Ore.
But few serious problems have turned up over years of vaccinations and several studies have shown no link with autism, a theory from the 1990s that has been widely discredited.
"Your child's risk of getting disease depends on what your neighbors do," said Omer.
Alaska had the highest exemption rate in 2010-11, at nearly 9 percent. Colorado's rate was 7 percent, Minnesota 6.5 percent, Vermont and Washington 6 percent, and Oregon, Michigan and Illinois were close behind.
Mississippi was lowest, at essentially 0 percent.
Originally posted by chrismicha77
Can't figure out why it's in this format sorry!
Originally posted by JibbyJedi
The people who tend to believe vaccines are safe also tend to believe war brings peace, poison is nutritious, and the gov't loves them very much.