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The Anti-Vaccination Movement

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As of last fall, more than 45,000 Texas students have received nonmedical exemptions for their school vaccinations. That makes the state a prime location for an outbreak of measles – one of the most contagious and lethal of all diseases. That’s according to Dr. Peter J. Hotez, a pediatrician at Baylor College of Medicine and director of the Texas Children’s Hospital Center for Vaccine Development. He joins us to talk about how the anti-vaccination movement is gaining ground nationwide, which he wrote about recently in The New York Times.

Dr. Peter J. Hotez on …

… the potential effect of not vaccinating children:

“There are private schools in the Austin area, and elsewhere, where 20, 30, 40 percent of kids are not getting vaccinated. And even in the public school systems in Travis county, we’re seeing 2 to 3 percent of kids are not getting vaccinated. This is a red flag because we know measles is so highly contagious. Once you get below the 90, 95 percent coverage rates where almost all the kids are vaccinated we can start seeing breakthrough-measles like we saw in California.”