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Fear of Vaccine Dangers Leads Some Families to Opt Out of Routine Care

An increasing fear of alleged dangers from child vaccinations, including autism and allergies, has led to an upsurge in the reported cases of measles this year. Betty Ann Bowser examines why some parents are opting against routine vaccinations for their children.

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  • BETTY ANN BOWSER, NewsHour Correspondent:

    Hilary Chambers is a San Diego radio personality who recently had her world turned upside down. In February, she was confronted by state health department officials who quarantined her daughter, Finlee, for three weeks because she had been exposed to the measles.

    Chambers was stunned. She was just about to have Finlee vaccinated at the government-recommended age of 12 months.


    We were very scared, because we didn't know what that meant.


    Chambers was also angry, because the measles was brought to San Diego by a 7-year-old unvaccinated boy who was exposed to the disease while on vacation in Switzerland.


    If you decide not to vaccinate, don't take your child, your unvaccinated child, to a foreign country where there is a higher incidence of measles and other diseases. And if you do do that and you bring your child back sick, don't take that child to public places until you know what's really going on with them.


    Because of that one child, 70 children had to be quarantined; 11 got the measles; one of those had to be hospitalized. Fortunately, there were no deaths.

    The Centers for Disease Control say there have been at least 95 cases of measles in 11 states in just the first five months of this year. That's the largest number since 2001.