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March 1, 2000

Health Consequences of Exemptions From Immunization Laws—Reply

Author Affiliations

Phil B.FontanarosaMD, Deputy EditorIndividualAuthorStephen J.LurieMD, PhD, Fishbein FellowIndividualAuthor

JAMA. 2000;283(9):1140-1142. doi:10.1001/jama.283.9.1137

In Reply: We agree with Dr Fried that many parents who do not vaccinate their children believe this decision is in their child's best interest. Our article documents how, contrary to parents' intent, such a decision results in a 35-fold increased risk of measles to exemptors compared with nonexemptors, as well as increased risk to the community. In contrast with the speculative and as yet unvalidated hypotheses about measles disease and atopy, both the risks of measles and the benefits of measles vaccination are well documented.1 Why fight phantom risks when real ones already exist?