It’s amazing to learn there are still parents in this country who refuse to have their children vaccinated against a number of communicable diseases. Given what we know from proven medical science, it’s hard to understand why parents would want to place their school-age children at such a risk.
States currently allow medical exemptions to vaccinations, and many have traditionally granted exemptions to parents based on religious beliefs. Many of today’s opponents to immunizations, however, are parents who subscribe to an unproved personal belief that vaccines may be linked to autism and other disorders.
Twenty states now allow some kind of personal exemption to vaccinations. This worries public health officials, who point to epidemics like that of an outbreak of measles in California a few years ago as what can happen when children are not properly immunized.
We know that vaccines have saved many lives. Epidemiologists and other medical experts warn personal belief exemptions represent bad public policy with no basis in science. We agree. Children who are not vaccinated are vulnerable to serious illnesses, as well as being a danger to other children.
We urge parents to ignore the misinformation being spread on the Internet, and make sure their children are up-to-date on their vaccinations. It’s the responsible thing to do.