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Should Any Vaccines Be Required for Children? Pros and Cons and Current Research at New ProCon.org Website
Date:1/23/2010

SANTA MONICA, Calif., Jan. 22 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- ProCon.org, a nonpartisan 501(c)3 nonprofit public charity dedicated to promoting critical thinking, created the new website http://vaccines.procon.org to explore the core question "Should any vaccines be required for children?"

Although no federal vaccination laws exist, all 50 states require certain vaccinations for children entering public schools. Depending on the state, children must be vaccinated against some or all of the following diseases: mumps, measles, rubella, diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus, and polio. All 50 states also issue medical exemptions to vaccinations; 48 states (excluding Mississippi and West Virginia) permit religious exemptions, and 20 states allow an exemption for philosophical reasons. As of 2009, the national average vaccination rate for required school entry vaccines was 95.41%.

Proponents of vaccination argue it is one of the greatest public health developments of the 20th century. They point out that diseases like rubella (German measles), diphtheria, and whooping cough once killed tens of thousands of infants every year in the U.S. and are now avoided by vaccination. They argue that, although vaccination is not without risks (including rare but serious side effects such as seizures, paralysis, and death), the public health benefits of vaccination far outweigh the risks.

Opponents of vaccination argue that children's immune systems can deal with most infections and that natural immunity should be allowed to develop. They argue that possible severe side effects from vaccinat
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