More than 100 cases of measles have been recorded in the U.S. in January alone. Yet parents are abstaining from allowing their children to be vaccinated for non-medical or religious reasons. Over the course of six years, the number of children that refrain from vaccinations has tripled.
Central Texas is also becoming popular for conscientious exemptions, which allow a vaccine to be wavered for religious and philosophical reasons.
Mary Ann Roser, a reporter for the Austin American Statesman, explored this issue with this article.
Why are more Texans saying no to vaccinations?
“There are lots of reasons for this and the interesting thing is it cuts across political ideology. Some parents think that putting chemicals into their child’s body is no way to keep them healthy. Some of them don’t trust the safety and effectiveness vaccines. And then there are the people who don’t trust the government, or don’t think the government has the right to tell them what to do as a parent.”
What are the religious grounds?
“There are religious grounds…Texas counts the conscientious subjections or exemptions – religious and personal beliefs.”
Why does Central Texas appear to be one of the hotbeds for vaccine waivers and why private schools?
“Sometimes parents will send their kids to schools that express the philosophy that they believe in, like their Christian schools that have high rates. And then there are schools that some people call hippy-type schools where they send their children, where the believes are also similar…we’ve got people on both ends of the spectrum who do seek these exemptions.”