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2004

Risk

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

Health Law and Policy

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Vanishing Vaccinations: Why Are So Many Americans Opting Out Of Vaccinating Their Children?, Steve P. Calandrillo Jan 2004

Vanishing Vaccinations: Why Are So Many Americans Opting Out Of Vaccinating Their Children?, Steve P. Calandrillo

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

Vaccinations against life-threatening diseases are one of the greatest public health achievements in history. Literally millions of premature deaths have been prevented, and countless more children have been saved from disfiguring illness. While vaccinations carry unavoidable risks, the medical, social and economic benefits they confer have led all fifty states to enact compulsory childhood vaccination laws to stop the spread of preventable diseases. Today, however, vaccines are becoming a victim of their success-many individuals have never witnessed the debilitating diseases that vaccines protect against, allowing complacency toward immunization requirements to build. Antivaccination sentiment is growing fast in the United States, …