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Doubters Trouble U.S. Immunization Professionals
Reuters Health Information Services;
Fox, Maggie


A recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report revealed that 75 percent of children have received their full schedule of immunizations against polio, mumps, measles, rubella, Haemophilus influenzae B, hepatitis B, diphtheria, whooping cough, and tetanus, but at the same time noted that 62 children died in the United States of whooping cough between 1997 and 2000. Health professionals have come to find that many parents' mistrust of the federal government has resulted in a refusal to have their children vaccinated against some or all vaccine-preventable diseases--a matter that is of significance in states like Texas and Arkansas, where state legislatures have passed laws allowing parents to make not only religious objections to vaccinations but conscientious or philosophical ones. Opponents to vaccination requirements at schools and day-care centers say that they want the right to choose what healthcare options they want for their children. Yet, in a demonstration of what can happen when a community is not properly immunized against a disease, the Netherlands reported 3,000 cases of measles and three child deaths from the disease in 2000 among a group of children that were not immunized against measles because of religious concerns.

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