Vaccine Controversies

Should parents be required to immunize their children?


Two centuries of scientific evidence have proven conclusively that vaccines can prevent deadly diseases, but a small, vocal group of skeptics — aided by high-profile celebrities — continues to fight mandatory immunization, especially of babies and school-age children. More than 90 percent of Americans immunize their children against diseases such as measles, diphtheria and whooping cough, but the remainder either reject immunization or don't get the vaccinations on schedule. Public health officials say refusing to follow vaccine protocols allows diseases to spread rapidly, as happened in December 2014 when a measles outbreak began at Disneyland and spread to seven states. But opponents of mandatory vaccination contend that the escalating number of vaccines poses safety concerns and that requiring parents to immunize their children impinges on ...

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