Vt. debates letting parents say no to vaccines

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) -- Vermont is embroiled in a debate over ending the philosophical exemption that allows parents to have their kids skip childhood immunizations required for attending school.

The state Senate voted 25-4 recently to end the exemption, while the House has voted 93-36 to preserve it.

Vermont is among the highest states in the number of parents who exempt their children from immunizations. State health officials say Vermont had 102 pertussis cases between January and the first week of April, more than were reported in the state all last year.

Opponents of the exemption say vaccines have eradicated diseases like polio in the United States.

But some vocal vaccine skeptics say it should be up to parents whether to get their kids immunized.


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