Tags: Vaccines | vaccinations | nonvaccinated | opt-out

Who Is Most Likely To Opt Out of Vaccination?

By    |   Monday, 22 Jun 2015 09:09 AM

A broadening measles outbreak in the United States, occurring more than a decade after the federal government declared the disease eliminated, has turned attention to parents choosing to opt-out of immunizations for their school-age children.

Vaccine-choice and anti-vaccine movements, driven by fears of adverse reactions to the shots or based on philosophical objections, tend to cluster in communities throughout the country. Mother Jones reported in 2014 that Oregon, Vermont, and Michigan had the largest numbers of families choosing not to vaccinate. Certain communities in other states had high nonvaccination rates, while the state overall may not.

VOTE NOW: Should Parents Have the Freedom Not to Vaccinate Their Children?

A sharp drop in child-vaccination rates in Los Angeles County, for example, was traced to "a rise in personal belief exemptions … in wealthy coastal and mountain communities," The Los Angeles Times reported in September 2014, about four months before an nationwide outbreak of measles that started at Disneyland in Southern California.

The article's findings prompted one Times columnist to write a column headlined, "Rich, educated and stupid parents are driving the vaccination crisis."

But well-to-do Californians trying to live chemical-free weren't, and aren't, the only people to object.

Where 20 states and the District of Columbia allowed parents to send unvaccinated children to school based on philosophical objections, all but two allowed a religious exemption that was, in many cases, more longstanding than the philosophical waiver.

Ohio, for example, experienced a measles outbreak in 2014 that swept through some of the state's unvaccinated Amish communities and sickened 383 people, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported.

URGENT: Should States Be Allowed to Make Health Decisions for Your Children?

An article in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2009 examined common characteristics among people who chose not to vaccinate their children. "As compared with the undervaccinated children, the unvaccinated children were more likely to be male, to be white, to belong to households with higher income, to have a married mother with a college education, and to live with four or more children," the article said.

In addition, the article said that people with unvaccinated children were more likely to say their children had "low susceptibility to diseases."

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A broadening measles outbreak in the United States, occurring more than a decade after the federal government declared the disease eliminated, has turned attention to parents choosing to opt-out of immunizations for their school-age children.
vaccinations, nonvaccinated, opt-out
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2015-09-22
Monday, 22 Jun 2015 09:09 AM
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