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Anti-Vaccine Movement Seen At Base Of Measles Outbreak

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The growing measles outbreak in parts of southern California — and other parts of the country — has drawn new and sometimes negative attention to the anti-vaccine movement. New York Times Rocky Mountain correspondent Jack Healy joined us today to tell us more about his reporting in wealthy neighborhoods in and around Los Angeles, where parental concerns about medical complications stemming from vaccinations could have contributed to the growing outbreak.

"As these cases spread, there's a growing chorus of criticism of parental decisions to not vaccinate their children," Healy said. "The CDC is raising concerns that this disease is now being spread due to the fact that people have these somewhat baseless fears and suspicions over vaccines."

Healy reported from areas of southern California last weekend — and in small, private schools — where "as many as half of the kids are unvaccinated, due to parents requesting personal belief exemptions from the requirement that their kids be vaccinated in order for their kids to attend school."

Still, Healy notes, the state at large rests at a roughly 90 percent vaccination rate. State exemption options for vaccines vary, and part of California's measles outbreak could be due in part to the state's relatively loose exemption rules.

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