Who Should Decide When Kids Are Immunized?

Who Should Decide When Kids Are Immunized?

I don't think it's right that children are required to be immunized before starting school. It should be up to parents to decide.
- Wendy

It's tempting to think that kids don't need to be immunized against diseases we don't often hear about anymore, like polio and measles. But the reason we don't hear much about such diseases is because of widespread immunization against them.

Although they occur rarely, most diseases that can be prevented by vaccines still exist in the world, and today's ease of travel means an outbreak could occur anywhere. Not long ago, a measles outbreak caused many deaths in the United States, partly because some people never received protection against the virus as children. Immunizations are the best way to protect kids from these devastating diseases.

Reviewed by: Steven Dowshen, MD
Date reviewed: January 2013

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Related Resources
OrganizationAmerican Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) The AAP is committed to the health and well-being of infants, adolescents, and young adults. The website offers news articles and tips on health for families.
Web SiteNational Immunization Program This website has information about immunizations. Call: (800) 232-2522
OrganizationImmunization Action Coalition This organization is a source of childhood, adolescent, and adult immunization information as well as hepatitis B educational materials.
Web SiteCDC: Pre-teen and Teen Vaccines CDC site provides materials in English and Spanish for parents, teens, pre-teens, and health care providers about vaccines and the diseases they prevent.
Web SiteThe History of Vaccines The History of Vaccines is an informational, educational website created by The College of Physicians of Philadelphia, the oldest professional society in the United States.
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