Child vaccinations in Arizona declining, Arizona Department of Health Services fears outbreak

PHOENIX - Protecting your child is a no-brainer, but how parents do it is up for debate.

Arizona state health officials are concerned about the rising number of parents choosing not to vaccinate their children.

Immunizations against diseases like the measles and mumps are just some of the immunizations parents are opting out of.

"The worst zip code for immunizations is in a school district in Sedona. This trend is mainly in the northern part of the state," said Will Humble, Arizona Department of Health Services Director.

The growing trend of vaccination exemptions is not because of parents' religious backgrounds or their children's medical issues, but simply because of personal beliefs.

Arizona is among the few states that allow vaccination exemptions for personal reasons.

State health officials said the demographic of people who are choosing not to vaccinate are from predominantly white, high income families.

The main goal of state health officials is to find out what is causing this trend and to focus on an intervention in the near future.

"This is not about parents who do not have access to care or who do not have insurance. It's not that they don't have cars to take their kids to doctor's appointments. These are parents who are saying, 'I'm not going to vaccinate my kids. I saw some herbal magazine or something they saw on the internet. I think vaccinations are dangerous and I'm not doing it,"" said Humble.

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