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Parents Opting Out of Vaccines for Kids

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WASHINGTON, Nov 13, 2003 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- A growing number of parents in several states are opting out of mandatory vaccination requirements for their children.

Health experts are concerned the decision could lead to outbreaks of deadly diseases such as measles, polio and whooping cough.

Nearly 38,000 children across the United States have been exempted for medical, religious or philosophical reasons from receiving the usual bout of childhood immunizations.

The situation has become such a concern in some states, they have asked for assistance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The reasons for the increase in exemptions are unclear but a contributing factor appears to be a growing concern among parents about the safety of vaccines. The CDC has just begun to investigate and expects to have more information in about a year.

Some of the largest increases in exemption rates have been seen in Colorado, Oregon, Michigan and Washington.

Copyright 2003 by United Press International.

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