Associated Press (09.04.12)
Aids Weekly Plus
Citing state Department of Public Health data, the Connecticut Post reports that the number of students receiving exemptions from vaccination requirements is up by 127 percent from 2003. Last year, 1,056 children entering kindergarten and seventh grade were exempted due to allergic reactions or religious prohibitions. Dr. Thomas Murray, assistant professor of medical science at Quinnipiac University’s Frank H. Netter School of Medicine, cited several possible reasons for the decline in vaccine uptake. Some parents worry that vaccines may be linked to autism and other health problems, even though experts insist that no evidence supports such a link. In addition, vaccines have been so successful that some parents have had no experience with the diseases they target, he said: “You’re much less likely to feel threatened by something if you don’t see it around.” Vaccines required for children entering kindergarten in Connecticut this year include hepatitis A and B, diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, measles, mumps, rubella and chicken pox. Coverage in Connecticut remains high, with more than 97 percent of students vaccinated; however, some doctors have expressed concern over the rise in exemptions.