Vermont is one of 20 states that allows parents to opt out of vaccinating their kids on philosophical grounds and a bill in the Legislature is attempting to change that. Supporters of vaccination are concerned that Vermont’s rate of unvaccinated kids is growing, causing a public health concern. But opponents of the bill say parents, not the state, should decide whether to vaccinate a child. A new compromise in the bill would allow parents a philosophical exemption, but would require that a primary care provider educate those parents on the risks and benefits of vaccines.
The issue of whether and when to vaccinate stirs strong feelings among parents and the medical community. Friday on Vermont Edition, we discuss the issues behind the Health Department’s push to raise Vermont’s childhood vaccination rate. Our guests are Dr. Curtis Gross, a chiropractor in Middlebury, and Dr. William Raszka, a pediatric infectious disease specialist at Fletcher Allen Health Care in Burlington.