New Jersey Doesn't Vaccinate. Why Not?

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new jersey vaccination rate downA new report highlights the dichotomy of New Jersey being one of the wealthiest states in the United States, yet having one of the lowest vaccination rates for its children. With the national average of vaccinated infants and toddlers coming in at 71%, New Jersey is ranked 42nd out of 50 with only 64% of Jersey infants and toddlers vaccinated.

You're going to look twice at that cute toddler sharing spit with your little one at playgroup in Metuchen, huh?

While pockets of poverty do play a big part in the lower vaccination rate, it's a bit more complicated in the Garden State as their vaccination rates have been steadily dropping.

In low-income and immigrant communities, many lack health insurance, transportation to the doctor’s office, or struggle to understand the complex schedule of up to 28 shots recommended by the time a child is two-and-a-half years old.

And there’s also a growing resistance to vaccines among middle-class and wealthy people for whom money and insurance aren’t an issue. Some reject the schedule of shots urged by the American Academy of Pediatricians and the CDC.

As a pro-science parent myself, and one who has a baby in Southern California, the site of the latest deadly whooping cough epidemic, this anti-vax fervor makes me nervous. After all, we need the herd immunity to protect those too young or too ill to be vaccinated. People will die when the herd immunity is compromised, and that's a fact no matter which side of the debate you champion.

Of course, that is precisely what will make the vaccination rate go back up.

"There are a small percentage of people who are very vocal and very invested in making their viewpoint known," [Robert Tolan, chief of allergy immunization and infectious diseases at Children’s Hospital of St. Peter’s Medical Center in New Brunswick] said. "When I have tried to share scientific information, they don’t seem to respond to that approach. What will happen is that when preventable illness starts striking down our children, the pendulum will swing back."

What a horrible lesson to have to re-learn, and at the expense of our children.

Are you a New Jersey anti-vax parent?


Image via Zaldylmg/Flickr

toddler health, autism

11 Comments

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Phils... PhilsBabyMama

Nope. :)  I'm a Maryland  ( currently transplanted temporarily to Oklahoma) anti vax parent.

knfisch knfisch

I'm an Illinois delayed vax parent :) My baby wont get any until he's 2 and then it'll be only ones required for school. He doesn't do daycare and is rarely around anyone other than myself, my husband and my in laws so for us the risk of side effects is higher than the risk of exposure. 

jeann... jeannesager

First the housewives, then Jersey Shore, now further proof that it's a state filled with dangerous minds.

Crystal Keelin

Wow... Im an AR non-vaxing momma and I can tell you that low income and lack of education had NOTHING to do with my decision. My decision came after TONS of research on the subject and learning that the real reasons behind the big "push" for vaccines... I dont want to get into that right now, but I would STRONGLY encourage parents to look into this subject and make a decision for themselves... contrary to what we believe, the doc is not always right... he is getting paid a lot of money to give that shot... so think about who you want to look out for :)

Carey... Carey2006

No...I live in Georgia and it seems as tho we OVER Vaccinate here!!!!

Jenny301 Jenny301

I found this interesting regarding herd immunity.  http://secretsofnaturalhealing.blogspot.com/2009/12/forced-vaccinations-and-myth-behind.html

foxym... foxymoxie

I'm from S.C. and now live in OH, My Mom never got me or her other 4 children vaccinate and I'm now 32 years old never been sick worse then a little runny nose so I do not see a need to have my children vaccinated and they are very healthy as well,  low income and lack of education had NOTHING to do with my or Moms decision on this matter infact she did her research and then so did I. 

tazdvl tazdvl

Michigan and we delayed them.

Becky... BeckyMitch

I work at a doctor office, small - 2 pediatricians - and I ASSURE you we are not collecting the big bucks for vaccinating your children.  We barely get paid enough by insurance companies to cover the cost of the vaccine..and in some cases we actually lose money.  Pediatricians dont vaccinate to get rich, they vaccinate to protect your child and those your child comes in contact with from diseases that are life threatning or life changing.  Think of polio - iron lungs - crippled children - we dont fear that because we have never seen it first hand.  The blog mentioned above is just that a BLOG.  An opinion.  Please don't make decisions because someone BLOGS about it...make decisions because you have studied BOTH sides.

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