Woah, the timing of this AP news article was incredible, “Parents avoid vaccinations by claiming false religious exemptions”. It’s an excellent follow-up to my previous post on “My student is missing”. (My student came back the next day.)
Many states are seeing increases in the numbers of parents who do this.
“Do I think that religious exemptions have become the default? Absolutely,” said Paul Offit, head of infectious diseases at Children’s Hospital in Philadelphia, one of the harshest critics of the anti-vaccine movement. He said the resistance to vaccines is “an irrational, fear-based decision.”
Of course, the problem with highly infectious diseases is that no one is an island. You’re not just making a decision about your own health.
But public health officials say it takes only a few people to cause an outbreak that can put large numbers of lives at risk.
“When you choose not to get a vaccine, you’re not just making a choice for yourself, you’re making a choice for the person sitting next to you,” said Lance Rodewald, director of the CDC’s Immunization Services Division.