Video: Mississippi #1 in Child Vaccination Rates, Vaccine Debate Continues as Disease Spreads
COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI) — Parents across the nation are on edge now that the measles outbreak has spread to 14 states and more than 100 cases have been reported.
Over 90% of the nation’s children are currently receiving vaccinations. All fifty states require child vaccinations but 48 of them allow parents to opt out if they choose.
Mississippi is one of the two state that does not allow parents to opt out. Now a measles outbreak has the medical community highly concerned about the disease getting out of control.
A measles outbreak that started at Disneyland in California is continuing to grow. Now the CDC and even President Obama are urging parents to get their children vaccinated.
Columbus Pediatrician Dr. Jacob Skiwski, also known as Dr. Ski, says parents shouldn’t let their fears stop them from protecting their children.
“They don’t realize if you get a disease, it hurts a child real bad because it winds up in the hospital and could be fighting for their life if they do not have the vaccination,” says Dr. Skiwski.
The measles had virtually been eliminated in the United States over the last 15 years. Now a national debate has begun about parental rights and vaccinating children.
Dr. Ski says vaccinations are necessary to prevent the spread of disease.
“I’m a free will person too and I like to have choices. If I have to choose whether a patient gets sick, be in ICU versus a patient being immunized and being healthy, my bet is on being immunized and being healthy,” says Dr. Ski.
Not everyone agrees with child vaccinations. Michael Belkin of Washington state says his five week old daughter died after receiving a Hepatitis B vaccination in 1998. He believes parents are not given information about the potential, deadly side affects of vaccines.
“It depends on what kind of information they have. Unfortunately, the information that the Public Health Department has put out is biased. They do not tell you that the reactions that are the vaccine package insert,” says Belkin.
Mississippi parents do not have the right to opt out of vaccinating their children unless they are being home-schooled. Mississippi also ranks first in the nation in child vaccination rates.
The debate over child vaccinations rages on as the disease continues to spread across the nation.