More Parents Skip Immunizations for Children

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- A growing number of parents in Wisconsin are choosing not to have their children immunized.

Less than 1 percent of students did not get shots against measles and other diseases 20 years ago. Last year, nearly 4 percent opted out of the vaccinations.

Bridget and Taka Hirata have a personal conviction waiver from school immunization requirements for their children. The Hiratas worry about the risk of vaccines and believe the body can fight diseases naturally.

Wisconsin requires 15 doses of five vaccines to enter kindergarten, but is among 20 states that grant waivers. Pediatric disease specialist Dr. James Conway tells the State Journal that not vaccinating children "is like putting your kids out in traffic." He says they might not get hit by a car, but if they do "that's a world of hurt."

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