Thu, Aug 22, 2013 -- 9:00 AM

New Efforts Put Pressure on Parents to Vaccinate Kids

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Jeff Mitchell/Getty Images
A young boy is vaccinated at a health center.
Jeff Mitchell/Getty Images
A young boy is vaccinated at a health center.

Bay Area students are heading back to school this month amid news that an increasing number of parents have opted not to vaccinate their kids. The number of unvaccinated children in California has tripled in the last decade. Nearly 10 percent of kindergartners statewide last year didn't have all of their required immunizations. In Marin Country, only 82 percent of kindergartners were fully vaccinated. To fight this trend, a Marin pediatric practice with 8,000 patients has refused to treat those who aren't vaccinated, public health officials have launched information campaign and a new state law requires parents to consult with a doctor before opting out of vaccines. A well-known bio-ethicist is even proposing lawsuits against parents who refuse to immunize. We talk about efforts to pressure parents to vaccinate their kids. Why are vaccination opt-out rates rising? Will efforts to turn the tide work?

Host: Michael Krasny


  • Arthur Caplan, director of the Division of Bioethics at NYU Langone Medical Center
  • Barbara Loe Fisher, president of the National Vaccine Information Center
  • Catherine Martin, director of the California Immunization Coalition, non-profit, public-private partnership dedicated to full immunization protection for Californians
  • Nelson Branco, practicing pediatrician and managing partner at Tamalpais Pediatrics in Marin County, a practice that recently made getting the MMR vaccine by age two a requirement of care

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