I just posted a blog entry on barriers to improving international vaccination rates, and I include here a recent article that discusses the resurgence of Whooping Cough in the United States. The now-three-year epidemic of Whooping Cough diagnoses (and deaths) may, in all fairness, be bifactorial  (the properties of the newest vaccine version available may impart shortened length of immunity in some children), BUT ...the epidemic is also very clearly the result of lower vaccine participation rates. (Message me for more information on the statistics involved in these statements if you're interested).

In parts of Vermont, only ~60% of children receive vaccinations, in part because of an ability of parents to opt out per a "philosophical exemption" in addition to the commonly discussed religious exemption. Why should anyone care? Unvaccinated children are more likely to get a disease that others have been vaccinated against (clearly). For those that haven't yet been vaccinated against specific diseases because, for example, they're too young (i.e., infants) - being in area of disease to which they are highly susceptible can pose a significant risk to their health.

Enter the "herd immunity" debate. Vermont recently voted against including mandating vaccinations under certain conditions. Read the article below, and see if you agree with their decision.

http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/medical_examiner/2...

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