More parents skipping kids' vaccines

May 6, 2009 2:13:10 PM PDT
More parents are refusing to vaccinate their children against communicable diseases and that could be putting communities at risk. In 2008 the US had its biggest outbreak in more than 10 years and nearly all cases were in people who were not vaccinated.

A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine finds many states are making it easier for non-immunized children to attend school. The so called "personal belief" exemptions have resulted in a doubling in the percentage of kids who are not vaccinated.

Researchers say parents overestimate the side effects of shots and underestimate the harm from infectious diseases.