Many states are seeing increases in the rate of religious exemptions from vaccinations claimed for kindergarteners, according to a review of states‘ vaccination records and data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention conducted by the Associated Press.
A growing number of parents are claiming religious exemptions to avoid vaccinations for their children because they are skeptical of the shots’ effectiveness or are concerned about potential side effects, including autism.
The number of parents choosing not to vaccinate is still small, as only a few thousand children were not vaccinated, compared with 3.7 million vaccinated, among children who entered kindergarten in 2005.
While all 50 states have immunization requirements, 28 allow parents to opt out for medical or religious reasons. Another 20 states allow parents to opt out for personal or philosophical reasons as well. Mississippi and West Virginia allow parents to opt out for medical reasons only.
In 20 of the 28 states that allow exemptions for medical or religious reasons, religious exemptions have doubled or tripled from 2003 to 2007.
Public health officials say that un-vaccinated children could spread diseases to others or trigger an outbreak that could put the lives of many at risk.
More parents are clearly starting to understand that vaccinations are not a miracle cure-all that will keep their children from getting sick. Instead, they are seeing the truth: that vaccines carry the risk of serious side effects, including autism.
The topic of vaccinations is always emotional for both sides of the camp. People who have not done their research are quick to say that it is ignorant to avoid vaccinations. However, this is quite the oxymoron because mothers with college educations and higher incomes are those who are LESS likely to vaccinate their children.
Children whose mothers had less than a high school education were 16 percent more likely to have received vaccinations than toddlers whose mothers had graduated college.
Of course, anyone, regardless of education level or income, is capable of making an educated decision about whether or not to vaccinate their children. But college-educated women are perhaps more likely to have read articles questioning vaccine safety -- or at least to have heard about such controversies.
The trend toward not vaccinating has been growing for some time now. One study found 93 percent of pediatricians and 60 percent of family physicians said at least one parent had refused a vaccine for their child in 2003. Also, 69 percent of the physicians said that the number of concerns from parents had increased significantly.
And rightfully so.
Vaccines given to newborns contain an array of potentially toxic chemicals including:
- Aluminum phosphate (toxic and carcinogenic)
- Phenols (corrosive to skin and toxic)
- Live viruses and various other components
Now, I am not here to tell you what to do regarding your child’s vaccinations, but I do urge you to please do the research for yourself so you can make an informed decision.