More parents in private schools in California are not vaccinating their kids, according to the Associated Press.
In California, parents can opt out because of either religious beliefs or philosophical beliefs. Here in Massachusetts, parents can opt out because of religious beliefs.
Public health officials cited in the AP report say the trend can cause "an increased risk of an outbreak of whooping cough or other communicable diseases."
Almost all states (except West Virginia and Mississippi) allow parents to opt out of vaccinating their children based on religious beliefs, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL).
However, less than half of our nation's states allow parents to refuse vaccinations based on philosophical beliefs (only Vermont and Maine allow it in New England). Maine allows exemptions, reports the NCSL, based on "moral, philosophical or other personal beliefs."
Did you opt out of vaccinations for your child based on religious beliefs? Do you think Massachusetts should allow exemptions based on philosophical beliefs?
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Kristi Palma, Boston.com Moms producer, is the mom of a kindergartner and a preschooler. She is a writer who enjoys cooking her grandmother's Italian recipes (when her son isn't launching paper airplanes into them). Follow her on Twitter @kristipalma.