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Michigan health leaders call on more parents to get their kids vaccinated

Steve Carmody
Michigan Radio

State health officials are once again urging more parents to get their children immunized against preventable diseases.

Michigan has the fourth-highest percentage of parents who choose for non-medical reasons not to have their children vaccinatedagainst whooping cough, measles, and other diseases.

Patricia Bednarz is a school nurse in Lansing.  She says school nurses are concerned about Michigan’s falling immunization rates.

“This can lead to dangerous outbreaks of preventable diseases,” says Bednarz. “We know that thousands of children become ill because they have not been immunized.”

A growing number of parents are not having their children immunized because of misleading information they hear from family, friends or the Internet.

“When a parent told me that they did not want to have their child immunized but wanted “to go natural," it was impossible for me to understand,” says Dr. Mary Mora, a Lansing pediatrician.

“The natural consequences of these diseases are devastating.”    

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
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