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Currently, this topic is highly controversial. That said, there is a plethora of information online regarding your concerns and questions. It would be best to talk with a pediatrician regarding vaccines.

The measles situation that occurred in Disneyland recently, has sparked an even more intense debate regarding vaccines and in response to that, certain states are re-evaluating the vaccine exemption laws.

The vaccine exemption is state specific and pertains to whether or not a family would be exempt from the mandatory list of vaccines required by the state (and recommended by the Center for Disease Control “CDC”) for your child to enter public school.

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A proposed bill in New Jersey will force parents of unvaccinated children to provide more information pertaining to their religious beliefs, in support of their refusal to vaccinate.

Those in opposition to a stricter standard of proof of their religion, have threatened to sue the government.

Currently, if parents’ religious views conflict with vaccinating, the law only requires a letter to the school setting forth that the administration of vaccines conflicts with their religious views.

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Widman LogoThe United States Supreme Court was scheduled on March 20, 2015 to decide whether or not to review a vaccine injury case that was originally won in vaccine court and then overturned on appeal.

The case before the Supreme Court is an appeal made by the parents of a vaccine injured 10 year old, Ilya Dobrydnev,  back in 2004.   Ilya was injured by the Hepatitis B vaccine that he received in 2001, which left him with severe memory loss among other injuries and disabilities.

In 2013, the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (“vaccine court”) awarded Ilya $1,000,000 plus annual future payments to cover the cost of his care.  A year later, the Department of Justice (the defendants in the underlying case) appealed the vaccine court’s decision and won, thereby overturning the decision and award to Ilya.

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Thousands of parents of vaccine injured children have gone through the vaccine injury program and received awards for their children, some of whom will need lifetime care.  The Vaccine Injury Compensation Program does give compensation to claimants when it is warranted.

If you feel you or a loved one has been injured by a vaccine, there is a venue that provides you with the opportunity to seek compensation.  Please note there is a statute of limitations of 3 years from the date of onset of the injury or 2 years from the date of death.

Read below, some of the success stories where the vaccine court has awarded money to children who were vaccine injured.

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The following information is an example of a period of time in the past pertaining to the number of measles cases in the United States, which includes details of the specific cases that were reported to the CDC.  Measles has been in the U.S., as well as most other countries in the world, for many years. (See CDC.gov Morbidity and Mortality Report).

The time frame highlighted in this blog is from January 1, 2013-August 24, 2013.  During that time, measles cases existed in the United States, as reported by the CDC.  However, what is interesting to note is that these cases, as well as many other measles cases prior and subsequent to this aforementioned time frame, have not been aggressively publicized.  It is only recently, since the “Disneyland Outbreak” that the media has been actively reporting the measles story.

From January 1, 2013-August 24, 2013,  159 measles cases were reported from 16 U.S. States.  The ages of those who contracted measles ranged from 0 -61 years old.  18 people were under 12 months old.  40 people were 1-4 years old.  58 people were 5-19 years old.  43 people were older than 20 years old.

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If you are worried that you are not immune from measles, even if you’re vaccinated, you can get a simple blood test to see if you have antibodies to the illness. 

If you are an adult, and even if you were vaccinated as a child, you could still be under-vaccinated. Further, you may not be vaccinated and/or your child may be unvaccinated for various reasons, yet you or your child may have been exposed to measles and have a natural immunity.

Therefore, if you would like to find out if you’ve been exposed to the measles virus and have developed a natural immunity, or if you are interested in seeing if old vaccines you’ve received are still effective, ask your doctor for a prescription for a measles or MMR titer blood test to determine your immunity level. 

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The recent measles outbreak, beginning in Disneyland, California, can be (and has been) blamed on unvaccinated people and children somehow infecting everyone else.  This concept is somewhat flawed and requires a closer examination of the facts.

A crucially important fact to know is that with measles, the efficacy is not as high with the first dose as it is with two doses.  The MMR (which includes the measles vaccine) has been administerd for many years, however, the second dose of the measles vaccine was not on the recommended schedule until 1985.  Therefore, all adults who are approximately 31 years old or older have only been vaccinated for measles once.  They did not receive the booster.  This leaves that entire population of adults under-vaccinated and at risk for getting measles and spreading measles.

This year, the adults who are 31 and over might choose to travel to other countries where measles still exists.  These countries include, but are not limited to, England,  Mexico, Russia, Brasil, China, the Phillipines.  England, Mexico, Brasil and China are currently popular travel destinations for many people in the United States.  Those under-vaccinated adults can bring the measles back into the United States and to places, such as Disneyland.  Not to mention the international tourists from those countries who visit Disneyland, as well.

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