Pediatrician concerned about increasing trend of families choosing not to vaccinate children

Parent gives reasons for not vaccinating

By Patty Santos - Reporter

SAN ANTONIO - A local pediatrician said he’s worried about the increasing trend of families choosing not to vaccinate their children, as 21 states, including Texas and the District of Colombia, battle a measles outbreak.

“Measles can spread very quickly, and that can affect even healthy kids and make them sick enough to go to the hospital or have something very serious happen to them,” pediatrician Dr. Ryan Van Ramshorst said.

Van Ramshorst’s concern is for the children who, for medical reasons, cannot be vaccinated and would be exposed to serious diseases. 

“We have seen a twentyfold increase in the number of children who are not getting vaccinated because of parents’ decision since 2003,” he said.

The year 2003 is when Texas passed a law allowing exemptions.

READ MORE: How do Bexar County's vaccine exemptions measure up?

Pamela Allen is a parent and grandparent who files vaccine exemptions for her children and grandchildren. It started when her son began getting seizures after getting his shots.

“We're not going to risk them having irreversible damage caused by a vaccine,” she said.

Allen said she’s aware of the risks her children and other children who are not vaccinated face, but she said every parent needs to make the best, most educated choice for their own family.

“You don’t want your child to have a lifelong illness, to have a neurological impairment, to have a disability for the rest of their life,” she said.

Van Ramshorst urges parents to talk to their pediatricians and ask questions.

 

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