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March 28, 2001

Public Health Risks of Not Vaccinating Children

Author Affiliations

Stephen J.LurieMD, PhD, Senior EditorIndividualAuthorJody W.ZylkeMD, Contributing EditorIndividualAuthor

JAMA. 2001;285(12):1573-1574. doi:10.1001/jama.285.12.1573

To the Editor: I was dismayed at the recommendation by Dr Feikin and colleagues1 that legislators require evidence of the strength of parents' religious convictions for obtaining exemptions from immunizations. Such a policy, in my view, will intensify resentment and hostility to immunization programs. It treats Christian Scientists and some other religious groups as privileged elites, while parents who would like to claim a "philosophical" exemption because of their fears of adverse reactions to vaccination are not allowed the exemption.