By: Keene, Neil
Since 1999, the number of Australian parents objecting to vaccines has surged 600 percent, according to Suzanne Cory, president of the Australian Academy of Science. Whooping cough immunization rates have fallen under 50 percent in some locales, and the decline in vaccination helped drive up the number of cases between the Tweed and Clarence rivers to nearly 500 in 2011. A new booklet from the academy promoting vaccination says objections to immunization have put over 30,000 children at risk. “Refusing immunization is like playing Russian roulette with your child,” says Peter McIntyre, director of the National Center for Immunization Research and Surveillance. “You can have kids who get mild measles or whooping cough and just shrug it off - but there’s no guarantee.”
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