LOS ANGELES (CBS) — Despite the re-emergence of measles in Southern California, a new study shows many parents are opting not to vaccinate their child over increased fears of links to autism.

The U.S. Centers For Disease Control says a recent measles outbreak put many kids at risk who were too young to be vaccinated, blaming the refusal of parents to vaccinate their older children. While this highly contagious viral disease was contained in the past, officials say the outlook for the future is not entirely measles-free.

So what’s behind the new trend? According to the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA), a non-profit health care organization, childhood vaccination rates in the U.S. in 2009 declined by almost four percentage points in commercial health plans, a drop the NCQA atributes to parents who may refuse vaccines for their children based on an unproven but increasingly popular notion that vaccines cause autism.

Dr. Janesri DeSilva, a pediatrician with Northridge Hospital Medical Center, joins KFWB’s Penny Griego and Phil Hulett to explain why many parents are opting not to get shots for their kids.

“The drop in childhood vaccinations is disturbing because parents are rejecting valuable treatment based on misinformation,” said NCQA President Margaret E. O’Kane. “All of us in health care need to work together to get better information to the public.”

The rates were determined on data collected from more than 1,000 health plans that cover 118 million Americans.

(©2010 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

Comments (15)
  1. Tamisha says:

    Why show a black child when we all know white folks the ones wigging out over vaccines.

  2. Tabetha says:

    They show a black kid GETTING the shot, not the mom freaking out saying no. So there was no reason for your racist comment.

  3. Sean says:

    She is not using a glove? On either hand.

  4. Tabetha says:

    On either hand. Pretty gross. Take a look at the home page and there is the little boy getting the shot with his dad holding him… That woman is not wearing gloves either.

  5. jip says:

    Flu shot-proven to NOT reduce the flu. Swine Flu shot- KILLED 25 people when introduced. How’s that for you. LIES LIKES LIKES. Doctors receive kickbacks for their prescriptions. Gee, where is the real problem with health care in this country, could it be a selfish money grubbing industry?

  6. bigjim says:

    When the kids whose parents get sick with the disease that a shot could have prevented the State or Health insurance should only have to pay the 47 cents each shopt would cost. In San Diego a childs parent did not want their kid vacinated and then when that child caught the disease the vacination would have prevented Medical paid over $750,000.00 for the three weeks in intensive care plus follwup. If you don’t want your kid to be vacinated fine but DO NOT come to me for my hard earned tax money to pay later when your kid gets sick.

  7. Meg W. says:

    Ugly kid. Let’s be honest.

    Sorry,but I have lot’s of free time now.

  8. Anne McElroy Dachel says:

    We’re only given one side in this interview.
    Telling us that studies have disproved a link ignores the fact that these studies come to us from the agency that runs the vaccine program, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. There, hundreds of employees have conflict waivers because of their direct financial ties to the vaccine makers.
    The last head of the CDC, Dr. Julie Gerberding, a long time denier of any link, is now the head of the vaccine division at Merck Pharma.
    More can be seen on this video from SafeMinds. Vaccines don’t cause autism—except when they do.

    Anne McElroy Dachel

    Media editor: Age of Autism http://www.ageofautism.com/

  9. JohnDanStone says:

    What’s really disturbing are the vested interests brow-beating parents into submission when they can’t discuss the evidence on a level playing field: this is authoritarian, manipulative and thoroughly dishonest.

  10. Maurine Meleck says:

    No, they have the reason for people not vaccinating all wrong. It’s because tens of thousands of people have seen their children regress and lose previously acquired skills. This is fact and not anecdotal. And unless an iindependent groups(not the CDC or other government organization) does an unvax vs vax study of children–to prove once and for all that vaccines are safe or unsafe—the refusal rate will continue to grow. This story all over the media is getting more boring than reading a math text book ten times—because we never see the other side of the true story. Getting more information to the public is nonsense. The public is finally waking up to the dangers of so many vaccines.
    Maurine Meleck, SC

  11. Judy Converse MPH RD LD says:

    Vitamin D supplement dramatically cut flu incidence in children in this study: American Journal of Clinical Nutrition http://bit.ly/dtXQAp A safe and effective way to prevent flu.

  12. Teresa Binstock says:

    A newly published, peer-reviewed study describes an association between early vaccinations and autism (1): “Findings suggest that U.S. male neonates vaccinated with the hepatitis B vaccine prior to 1999 (from vaccination record) had a threefold higher risk for parental report of autism diagnosis compared to boys not vaccinated as neonates during that same time period.” Let us not pretend there is no link.

    [1] Hepatitis B Vaccination of Male Neonates and Autism Diagnosis, NHIS 1997-2002.
    Gallagher CM, Goodman MS.
    J Toxicol Environ Health A. 2010 Jan;73(24):1665-77.PMID: 21058170

  13. popcares says:

    “The drop in childhood vaccinations is disturbing because parents are rejecting valuable treatment based on misinformation,” said NCQA President Margaret E. O’Kane. “All of us in health care need to work together to get better information to the public.”

    Ms. O Kane blames poor communication for the dropping vaccination rates .. which sounds an awful lot like Pres. Obamba .. who blamed poor communication for causing so many Democrats to lose their Congressional seats.


    In other words .. you can’t make a sow’s ears into a silk purse .. no matter how hard you try to “talk” the public into believing it.

  14. kapoore says:

    I grew up in the era when everyone got the chicken pox, measles, mumps, and so on. The childhood infections provided lifelong immunity. That was also the time when people had lots of kids–four was a small family. I don’t remember anyone ever dying from the measles, and everyone got it. I also don’t remember anyone that had autism. Parents are opting out of these unnecessary vaccines because they are well read and smart. The doctors are pushing them because they get kick backs, and what would a pediatrician do without the vaccine schedule. Of course, vaccines make kids sick. The vaccine injury court has given out billions of dollars, and it’s really hard to prove a vaccine injury. The fact is vaccine injuries are rampant and parents know it.

  15. TWANDA HARRIEL says:


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