When Jennifer Stella’s two children were babies, she made sure they got all the usual vaccines. But when one started having seizures and the other developed eczema after they’d gotten immunizations, the Vermont woman decided her kids would no longer get shots required to attend school. Stella, a co-founder of the Vermont Coalition for Vaccine Choice, is among a growing number of parents who are opting out of childhood vaccinations because they’re worried about their safety.
Public health experts say the movement is leading to outbreaks of nearly eradicated dangerous diseases, such as measles and whooping cough, among clusters of unvaccinated kids. All states require children to get vaccinated to attend school, and immunization rates across the nation remain high, with 92 percent of children between 19 months and 35 months getting the shots to protect against potentially deadly measles, mumps and rubella (MMR). READ MORE