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Opinion  

Parents: vaccinate your kids

It seems like the more obvious something is, the more the conspiracy theorists don’t believe it.

Celebrity claims linking vaccinations to autism have been debunked, and the science is clear – vaccines save lives.

Smallpox, polio and measles are no longer the scourge they once were. The diseases were all but eradicated, but the vaccines’ success led some to believe getting a shot in the arm was no longer necessary.

Small pockets of anti-vaxxers began to grow, and today, Fraser Health estimates more than 30 per cent of children in the Vancouver area have not been vaccinated by their second birthday, as recommended by experts.

Why should you care?

Because when vaccination rates fall below about 90 per cent, the risk of communicable diseases making a resurgence grows dramatically. Witness the recent Disneyland measles outbreak, which is now up to 95 reported cases – and still spreading across the U.S.

The only reason the anti-vaxxers feel safe is precisely because vaccines work. But as more forego the needle, they are literally rolling the dice with their own health – and that of their children.

Reactions to vaccines are extremely rare. Yet, every year, we hear fear-mongering about the flu shot, and a quick Google search will find hundreds of links casting doubt on modern medicine.

But medicine is beginning to fight back. A growing number of doctors in the U.S. are refusing to see patients who don’t believe in vaccination.

"Parents who choose not to give measles shots, they're not just putting their kids at risk, but they're also putting other kids at risk – especially kids in my waiting room," Los Angeles pediatrician Dr. Charles Goodman told CBC.

That may sound harsh, but there’s an easy solution. Do the right thing – get your child vaccinated.

— News Director Jon Manchester

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