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Should Parents Vaccinate Their Children?

Do you welcome immunizations, or refuse them?

The recent whooping cough epidemic has not only spurred a new shot requirement for children, but has also reignited the immunization debate in parenting circles.

Last year, more than 7,800 whooping cough cases statewide were reported, including 10 infant deaths—three from Los Angeles County. This is the worst outbreak the state has seen in 50 years, according to the California Department of Health.

In response to the epidemic, a new California law, effective July 2011, will require every middle and high school student in California to be vaccinated against pertussis. All students entering seventh through eighth grades in public and private schools must show proof of their immunization, or "Tdap" booster shots, before enrolling in the new academic year.

Previously, the booster shot was only a recommendation. It protects against tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis. Although whooping cough is not considered fatal in school-age children, it can be fatal for infants, according to the Department of Health.

Most parents in the U.S. immunize their children, but there are many who choose not to vaccinate—often because of fear that autism could be caused by vaccines (though there's no scientific evidence of a connection), or they have other philosophical or religious objections.

That's why the number of young children who are not fully vaccinated for preventable diseases, such as mumps, chicken pox and Hepatitis B, has been steadily increasing over the last decade.

Where do you stand on the vaccination debate? Do you question the safety of the vaccines? Should an unvaccinated child be kicked out of a play group or public playground, or denied an education?

Share your thoughts, ask questions and weigh in on the conversation in the comment section below.

david schulhof March 06, 2011 at 04:32 PM
wow, someone who knows something about this commenting here, you must feel lonely.
david schulhof March 06, 2011 at 04:34 PM
Why do people try to convince parents that they DO NOT HAVE a right. which they DO have? YOU DO NOT HAVE TO VACCINATE your kids if you live in California, and they can go to any public school, by law this is your right.
david schulhof March 06, 2011 at 04:39 PM
Jenny, your information is not correct. Vaccinations did not reduce disease, they came AFTER the diseases they " prevent" were already mostly eliminated. If you would look at timelines, you could see this. How about doing a little research on your own? You make quite a few factual errors in your post: . The vaccines and the schedule on which they should be given have been researched thoroughly. THE VACCINES ARE TESTED SEPARABLY, but given to kids all together, this has not been tested in the least. ALSO, statistically, kids with vaccines has much higher rates of health issues compared with not vaccinated. for example. 3x the asthma. Would be good in you did more reading.
Shannon Gonzalez March 10, 2011 at 01:21 AM
It is so refreshing to hear others who are against vaccinating your children! I have never been vaccinated and am exceptionally healthy compared to people my age. Yes, sometimes I get sick and then I drink WATER and SLEEP and by the next day I am usually ready to go again. My daughter, who was born 6 weeks early, has had no vaccinations and won't unless she decides to when she's older. She is now 3 months old and everyone around her has been sick at one time or another (grandma, grandpa, mom, dad, uncle, and niece) and she hasn't been sick. She has been breastfeeding non-stop and is building up a great immune system.
reesa April 01, 2011 at 06:39 AM
Does anyone know any resourses to finding a Dr. in the area who will not push immunizations and will still see my children if I tell them I don't want shots.

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