/ Modified aug 23, 2011 4 p.m.

Researchers Probe Dramatic Drop In Vaccinations

Arizona parents choosing not to vaccinate their children has doubled in a single decade

082311 Vaccination 617x347 Epidemiologists Kacey Ernst and Elizabeth Jacobs are exploring the reasons behind declining child vaccination rates. (PHOTO: AZPM)

In the last decade, the number of parents choosing not to vaccinate their children for non-medical reasons in Arizona has more than doubled, according to the Arizona Department of Health Services.

Records show that a little more than 3 percent of the state's kindergarteners did not get vaccinated for religious or philosophical reasons during the 2010-2011 school year.

Arizona is one of several states in the U.S. that allow parents to skip childhood immunizations based on personal beliefs. This includes religious beliefs or just the belief that vaccination is harmful. There are also medical exemptions for children who are unable to tolerate vaccines due to allergies or cancer treatments, such as chemotherapy.

However researchers say some parents are afraid simply because they don't have the most accurate information.

Kacey Ernst and Elizabeth Jacobs, both epidemiologists at the University of Arizona College of Public Health, are working with the state to find out more about why parents are not vaccinating their children.

The goal is to then educate people regarding the pros and cons of vaccinations. They join Arizona Illustrated to discuss their work, as well as their own decisions regarding vaccination, as parents of small children.

Doctors Kacey Ernst and Elizabeth Jacobs join us to talk about child vaccinations. (VIDEO: AZPM)
By posting comments, you agree to our
AZPM encourages comments, but comments that contain profanity, unrelated information, threats, libel, defamatory statements, obscenities, pornography or that violate the law are not allowed. Comments that promote commercial products or services are not allowed. Comments in violation of this policy will be removed. Continued posting of comments that violate this policy will result in the commenter being banned from the site.

By submitting your comments, you hereby give AZPM the right to post your comments and potentially use them in any other form of media operated by this institution.
Arizona Public Media broadcast stations are licensed to the Arizona Board of Regents. Arizona Public Media and AZPM are registered trademarks of the Arizona Board of Regents.
The University of Arizona