a case of measles would be. I am also grateful that the prevention mechanism, vaccines, have also been shown to be safe. In the US, the vaccine injury rate is incredibly low – less than 0.003% of the total vaccines given. A child is more likely to be injured while riding their bike, playing outside, or even walking. Furthermore, the major science, medical, and public health organizations and agencies – American Academy of Pediatrics, CDC, NIH, National Academy of Sciences and WHO – agree that vaccinations are beneficial and safe. Despite all of the science and evidence that supports the effectiveness and safety of vaccines, we still have individuals who choose not to vaccinate their children for non-medical reasons. Sadly, the number of those individuals has grown and shows no sign of stopping. In 2003, Texas had less than 3,000 non-medical exemptions filed statewide; compare that to the last school year (2017-18) when almost 57,000 non-medical exemptions were filed. This is a 20-fold or, in other words, a 1900% increase in the number of non-medical exemptions in Texas. The vast majority of Texans still vaccinate, but now it’s not just up to us to do the right thing by vaccinating on schedule, but to also speak up about the benefits of vaccines. Similar to our responsibility as parents to do what we can to protect our kids from harm, we must also do what we can to fight the misinformation that is circulating and stem the growing tide of antivaccine sentiment before it further damages our community protection from diseases like measles and an outbreak hurts our children and loved ones. From one parent to another, I ask that you vaccinate your children. It’s the right thing to do and protects your kids and benefits countless others, the science supports your decision to vaccinate, and it’s more crucial now than ever before to keep our kids safe from disease and the lies that are threatening to harm them.
Texas Parent Teacher Association The Voice