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Parents in Arizona are less likely than other states to vaccinate children

(AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino, File)

PHOENIX — Every new parent faces the question of whether or not to vaccinate their children, and in Arizona the answer to that question is “no” more often than most other states.

Debbie McCune Davis, the executive director of Arizona Partnership for Immunization, is working toward changing that trend.

“We are very concerned because Arizona is in the top five states with the highest exemptions, we’re No. 4 with 5.8 percent of kindergarten-aged children exempt from at least one vaccine,” Davis said.

Reasons why parents choose not to vaccinate their children include convenience, for parents who just don’t have the time or resources to get their children vaccinated, and belief, for parents who don’t fully know exactly what vaccines do.

“There is no question that vaccines work,” Davis said.

“We want parents to understand that the studies that were done 20 years ago – linking vaccines to autism – have been completely debunked and that the medical community will tell you that that risk does not exist.”

Vaccines have been created to cure diseases like MMR (measles, mumps, rubella), Hepatitis A, Hepatits B, whooping cough, Diphtheria, Chickenpox, Polio, Rotavirus, Pneumococcal and Meningococcal.

KTAR News’ Griselda Zetino contributed to this report.

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