- Paramedics Talk Mental Effects Of Responding To Numerous Crashes
- Texas Teen Dies After Amoeba Enters Brain
- Texas AG To Shut Down Unlicensed North Austin Assisted Living Facility
- Student Contracts First Case Of Rubella In Texas Since 2004
- Mom Starts Movement To Save Lives Using Kindness
- Need For Blood Donations Increased Due To Rise In Traumatic Car Crashes
- Texas Records 4th Death This Year Linked To West Nile Virus
- Man Blames Austin Clinic For Loss Of Testicle
- Dr. James 'Red' Duke, Once-Familiar TV Doctor, Dead At 86
- Officials Confirm Dallas Resident Died Of West Nile Virus
- Students Miss Part Of First Day Of Class To Get Vaccines
- State Program Fails To Reduce Obesity At Texas Schools
- Austin Mom says Glass in Baby Wipes Injured Her Son
- Fluoridation Fight Heats Up In Austin And San Marcos
- El Paso Abortion Clinic Set To Become Texas' First To Reopen
- FDA Approves Female Sex Pill, But With Safety Restrictions
- Leander Boy Acts FAST To Save Grandma From Stroke
- FDA approves OxyContin for children 11 and older
- Austin Breast Milk Bank Recruiting Donors
- Solutions For Health Inequality In Austin
- West Nile Season Expected to Hit in Coming Weeks
- Local emergency room sees rise in heat related illness
- Alabama Health Officials OK Blue Bell Sales
- San Marcos Water Customers North Of Blanco River Under Boil Water Notice
- Guidelines Help Keep Student Athletes And Musicians From Getting Sick As Temps Soar
- FDA bans some Mexican cilantro after feces found in fields
- Flea Population Exploding Due To Recent Rains
- Snake Bite Deaths Rare
- New FDA Approved Injectable Dissolves Chin Fat
- Abbott: Texas Won't Legalize Medicinal Or Recreational Pot
- Rep. Spitzer Responds To Criticism Over Abstinence Education
- Texas Army Veteran Supports Medical Marijuana Legislation
- Justices Sharply Divided Over Health Care Law Subsidies
- Listeria Found In Blue Bell Plant In 2013
- Vaccinations Don't Stop After High School
- Kyle's Youth Ban On E-Cigs Proposed As State Law
- Miller Defends Deep Fryers In Agriculture Address
- Future Of ACA Subsidies In Texas Unclear After Rulings
- Women's Groups Blast Supreme Court Ruling On Contraception
- Austin Regional Clinic Strengthens Vaccination Policy
- Travis Co. Hit Hardest in Texas Cyclospora Outbreak
- 2 Cases of Chikungunya Reported In Central Texas
- Food For Families Food Drive kicks off June 15!
- PTSD treatment Bravemind set to deploy in Texas
- Austin Man Receives World's First Ever Skull, Scalp Transplant
- Woman Loses Eyesight From Cat Lick
- Man Who Caught Listeria-Related Meningitis Sues Blue Bell
- Blue Bell Closing All 3 Creameries For Training, Cleaning
- Unusual Ice Cream Recalls Raise Questions About Cause
- CDC: 10 Listeria Illnesses Now Linked To Blue Bell Foods
Nearly 30,000 Texas Students Opt Out of Vaccinations
Nearly 30,000 Texas students are not vaccinated. The reason they aren't getting immunized? The Texas Department of State Health Services says their parents opted out.
It's a big decision. "I didn't anticipate that it would be, but ultimately it was kind of a difficult decision because you don't ever want to do anything to your child that's potentially going to hurt them," said Molly Martinez who has a seven-month-old daughter.
Molly and her husband, Manuel, ultimately decided to vaccinate their daughter, but not before doing their research. "You hear horror stories and it's scary," said Molly Martinez.
Not all parents come to the same conclusion. Sandy Headley, the Director of Health Services for Round Rock ISD, says the parents of 824 students choose not to vaccinate. This is a slight increase from last year. Austin ISD also reports a slight increase.
"A lot of time it's religious. Another reason is a lot of parents feel like it's not safe for their child and that it may cause Austism," said Headley.
We see the same increase statewide. Nearly 30,000 students didn't get shots. "If the parents have a religious belief or just a conscientious objection they can go to the state, get a form notorized and not get the vaccinations," said Headley.
At 1.74 percent, Travis County is one of the counties with the highest number of conscientious exemptions for childhood vaccinations. That's 2,806 students.
At the same time, Cindy Crouch with the Williamson County and Cities Health District says we're seeing an uptick in preventable diseases. "We're seeing an increase like in Pertussis."
84 cases of whooping cough were reported in Williamson County in 2012. The upper respiratory disease is very contagious and most severe for babies.
According to the Texas Department of State Health Services, 1,635 students did not recieve vaccinations in Williamson County in the 2011-2012 school year.
For parents like Molly and Manuel it's a tough call, but the risks of diseases like whooping cough and measles outweighed the possible side effects.
"Our decision was vaccinating which could potentially hurt them, and not vaccinating which could potentially hurt them," said Molly Martinez.
By Deeda Payton