(KNX 1070) — Should parents have to vaccinate their kids?

That hot-button topic was the focus of “KNX Spotlight: The Vaccine Dilemma” on KNX 1070 NEWSRADIO this morning with Charles Feldman and Tom Haule taking a look at one of the most controversial health issues of our time.

A recent outbreak of measles in California has brought renewed scrutiny to laws that allow for parents to claim a religious or philosophical exemption to opt out of vaccinations for their child.

One panel guest, Orange County pediatrician Bob Sears, said he thinks when it comes to vaccines, the science has been settled.

“These diseases are equal opportunity infectors, they’re gonna infect the rich, the poor, the clean, the dirty,” said Sears. “Chicken pox, measles, whooping cough, polio, diphtheria, all these diseases that we no longer see very much of anymore, I do say that the vaccines are responsible for getting rid of these.”

However, Sears pointed to millions of dollars in financial settlements – including the first-ever such court award of $1.5 million in a 2010 vaccine-autism claim – that has caused concern among a growing number of parents.

But Dr. Matt Zahn, medical director for epidemiology for the Orange County Health Care Agency, dismissed such concerns.

“There’s never been any real scientific evidence linking the vaccines to autism, and now we can say overwhelmingly that the…numbers we’ve seen in the changes to autism, that number can’t be because of vaccines,” said Zahn.

Listeners were asked to call in their questions at (866) 569-1070 or via Twitter at #KNXSpotlight.

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