AMERICAN FORK, Utah (ABC 4 Utah) - With kids heading back to the classroom many are getting up to date with their vaccinations in order to prevent diseases like Pertussis and Meningitis.
Many Utah clinics are extra busy giving vaccines before the new school year, but while some parents are choosing to opt out others feel better knowing their child is protected. Telisa Willis is one of them, “I think it's important they are immunized against the different diseases they can get," says Willis.
Willis brought her daughter into the clinic to get vaccinated before she starts the 7th grade. All her kids have been immunized, but Willis says she can relate to people who choose not to have their children vaccinated. “I had a relative that had immunizations that is permanently brain damaged from it. I think otherwise I haven't had any issues and his reason was for a specific reason for why he had an adverse affect to it,” says Willis.
For rare cases like Willis' family faced many parents fear immunizations. Here in Utah, parents can get exemptions for either medical, religious, or personal reasons. Many parents also worry immunizations can lead to autism, but according to the Utah County Health Department that is not the case. “The autism studies that were presented have been debunked. They were based on false data. The doctor involved has had his license remove. There are some side affects, there is the potential and there are some risks but it's very rare,” says Lance Madigan with UCHD.
For many Utah parents, like Willis, the potential benefits far outweigh the risks. “Because my child has had the immunizations I think they will be safe from anything coming from those who have not been immunized,” says Willis.
The one catch with opting out of vaccines is if there is an outbreak in any preventable vaccine diseases, like whooping cough, your child is forced to stay home from school.