August 8, 2009
[efoods]A Team 5 Investigates review of Department of Public Health records finds the number of parents seeking exemptions for immunizations has been steadily rising. The number is growing despite a declining number of kindergarten students over the past decade.
The number of exemptions was .77 percent in 1998 and is now 1.3 percent. Religious exemptions have more than doubled in the past decade.
“I think it’s horrible,” said Dr. John Cohen, a pediatrician and staunch supporter of vaccination. “There’s no religion in this world that says you shouldn’t immunize your child.”
The state allows medical and religious exemptions but some parents admit they really have a philosophical opposition. Some believe vaccines can cause autism or are simply unnecessary. Team 5 Investigates has reported on Web sites that show those parents how to apply for religious exemptions.