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Parents question child vaccinations
Will there be a day when more children are not vaccinated? And if do choose to vaccinate your child, are they in danger from those who are not immunized?
These are questions that come up with the start of every new school year --especially as more parents are opting out of vaccinations. The opt out policy is legal, if you follow the guidelines required by the state of Texas. But it's very controversial because someone else's decision to opt their child out...Might affect your newborn baby when you come into contact with them, at the grocery store.
Alma Anchondo makes it a point to keep her daughter's vaccinations up to date. And she is surprised that some parents opt out of the required school vaccinations.
Alma Anchondo, mother said, I think it's not OK for other kids to go to school without shots.
In the 2012-2013 school year, the CDC found that the parents of 7000 Texas kindergarten children opted out of vaccinations. And that worries public health officials in Houston.
Catherine Troisi, of UT School of public health said, Today's parents haven't seen those epidemics and they don't know the risks they're putting their child in by not vaccinating them.
Troisi said, The children at risk are not only the ones who aren't vaccinated...but babies who are too young to get their vaccinations. And children with cancer and AIDS, who can't get vaccines for medical reasons.
She said parents opt out because they worry about a young child getting so many vaccines at the same time.
Dr. Kim Connelly Smith, UT health pediatrician said, We understand when parents are afraid they're trying to do the best for their kids and so are we and there's a lot of scary stuff on the internet, a lot of misinformation.
Much of that misinformation involves claims made by a British doctor who has since lost his license, that the measles vaccine can cause autism. The claim has since been refuted. But it's contributed to a one percent opt-out rate for philosophical reasons in Texas last year.
Dr. Smith said, Some areas like Colorado I think has a much higher rate of people who don't immunize for philosophical objections and they do have more outbreaks.
For families who opt out, the CDC says it's important to tell your pediatrician and any other medical people that may take care of him. If there's an outbreak of a vaccine preventable disease in your area, the CDC said parents should be prepared to keep their children at home until the school says it's safe for them to return. The CDC also recommends these parents be especially careful when traveling so the unvaccinated child isn't exposed to.... and doesn't expose others to -- vaccine preventable disease.