July 23, 2019 – Why Not Vaccinate?


Anchor lead: Why do some parents object to vaccinating their children? Elizabeth Tracey reports

California’s recently reported experience with eliminating personal belief exceptions and tightening school policies has resulted in substantially more kindergartners coming to school with up to date vaccines. But about 5% still aren’t. Amber D’Souza, an epidemiology and vaccine expert at Johns Hopkins, believes parents try to act in their child’s best interests.

D’Souza: It’s so hard to speculate about why there’s differences by group. We have so much information and advocating for your children is really important. Before, when we had infectious diseases all around and people saw this it was so obvious – I don’t want to have my child exposed to this, I need to protect them. Because people don’t see these diseases anymore, they want to protect their children, but they’re acting to actually withhold from the child this vaccine that can help them, just out of a lack of understanding of the harm vs. benefit. :32

At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.