Opting Out: The Rise of Kids Without Vaccinations

BLOOMSBURG, Pa. -- In the last few weeks, we've seen measles outbreaks in New York and New Jersey and several cases of mumps at Temple University in Philadelphia.

So how vulnerable are we here in northeastern and central Pennsylvania to a similar outbreak?

Pennsylvania is one of 17 states that allow parents to opt out of vaccinating their kids if they believe the shots either don't work or put their kids at risk.

Even though medical professionals insist vaccines are safe, our investigation found several area counties with a rapidly growing number of parents choosing not to vaccinate their children.

Tiffany Spudes of Berwick says she's done her homework on vaccines.

"Since before my kid was born, I've obsessively looked at this issue," said Spudes.

She has chosen not to vaccinate her 4-year-old daughter against measles, mumps, rubella, and other diseases.

"A lot of the complications you can get from the diseases themselves, you can get from the vaccines, too," Spudes claims.

Spudes is not alone in her beliefs

Pennsylvania Department of Health records for the past three years show that in that time, the number of parents of kindergarten and seventh graders opting out of vaccinations in northeastern and central Pennsylvania rose from 779 to 938 an increase of 20 percent.

More parents like Tiffany Spudes are getting vaccine exemptions for what the state calls, "philosophical reasons."

"For me, as far as vaccines go with my daughter, the risk is just not worth the benefit."

Montour, Clinton, and Snyder counties have the highest percentage of exempt students. All three have traditionally had a high number of religious exemptions.

But local doctors are concerned about the four counties, including Montour, where a rapid rise in exemptions is fueled by parents who call themselves anti-vaccine.

"We are anticipating that if the trend is going on like that, we will see some of those diseases around here," said Dr. Tapash Sengupta.

Dr. Sengupta of Geisinger Bloomsburg Hospital says every reputable study shows vaccines to be a safe step towards eliminating these diseases, but he's running into a growing number of skeptical parents.

"Those who are rigid and they make up their mind, they don't even take part in the discussion," Dr. Sengupta said.

That may be true in Monroe County where vaccine exemptions almost doubled in the last three years which worries some parents.

"They do believe it links to a lot of things like autism and stuff," Tiffany Destefano said.

"I think people are listening too much to hearsay. They'll read something on the internet," said Jillian Swanby.

We talked with a few school superintendents in those counties. They tell us they're seeing a gradual and not a dramatic rise in the number of parents who are opting not to have their kids vaccinated.

"Private schools are more lax than public schools," Dr. Sengupta said.

While Dr. Sengupta wants a higher vaccination rate for some private schools and home-schooled children, he applauds the region's two largest counties.

Luzerne and Lackawanna counties have the lowest percentage of exempt students.

He also says state lawmakers should step in if the number of students who go without vaccinations continues to grow.

"I would really like to have a law or something that non-medical exemptions should not be entertained," Dr. Sengupta said.

In Berwick, Tiffany Spudes says the government has no business telling parents they must vaccinate their kids.

"There is definitely a sense, the people like myself are subverting some sort of social requirement," said Spudes.

It's important to note only three percent of children entering school in our region have not received vaccines and professionals say the risk of an outbreak right now is low.

But the trend of more parents saying no to vaccines has Dr. Sengupta and others concerned. Parts of northeastern and central Pennsylvania could be vulnerable to an outbreak of measles or other diseases in just a couple of years.

49 comments

  • Deanne Camara Ferreira

    In light of the big news today that the MMR vaccine was approved on a trial that included only 1,000 participants, in which the control group received another vaccine instead of a placebo, and in which the participants were followed for only 42 days instead of the usual 3 years that most other medications have to meet in order for FDA approval, and that the adverse events during this micro reporting period of 42 days were severely under-tallied…. I think that any doctor who insists on vaccinating is negligent and should consider another profession.

  • Margaret Moore

    ‘measles is so contagious that 9 out of 10 will get it if they are not protected.’ chances are 9 out of 10 are vaccinated and those that aren’t would like to have lifetime protection if they get the wild version of the measles. they are working on a vaccination with the measles virus as an anti-cancer shot because wild measles reduced the likelihood of some cancers. they are also working on an autism shot even though they don’t know what causes it in the first place (so they say).

  • Bob Stevens

    Gets your shots and lick them boots… poor sheep are afraid of the truth, leaked, admitted, documented, and confirmed by the courts.

  • fortisveritas

    20 years ago people like Bobby Jackson would have been institutionalized and receiving the care he needs. Today, he has access to the internet and tries to get people to board his crazy train. 🚂🤪

  • fortisveritas

    Just watched the video. Looking at Tiffany Spudes explains a lot. Morbidly obese, multiple face piercings, greasy hair. And she’s concerned about health…

  • Jeff Woehrle

    Illegal aliens flooding the country.
    I’m thinking their vaccinations are not quite up to date.

  • sarawillis4

    Where there is risk there must be a choice. Vaccines are unavoidably unsafe according to the Supreme Court. As soon as I saw the statistics on VAERS (vaccine adverse reaction reporting system) that thousands have been damaged from the vaccine and over 100 people have died from it I couldn’t help but look further into it. I found from the CDC that only 2 people have died from wild measles in the same period – since 2003. The rise of vaccination is actually on the RISE especially in California yet there are still outbreaks. Herd immunity can’t be real because vaccines wear off after 10 years and what adult has their regular boosters? Even if you got the MMR you would then shed (aka spread) the viruses via your blood, saliva and poop/pee for up to 2 weeks. So maybe it’s the vaccinators not the pro-choicest that are spreading this disease. How about that!!! Measles in a healthy person is a nasty cold with a rash and can be treated with high dose Vitamin A, avoiding sunlight and rest. Go down the rabbit hole if you dare. Don’t be afraid when you realize you’ve been lied too but Big Pharma and the media (who all own each other BTW). Good luck and happy health to all. If you vaccinate – I’m happy for you if it’s a choice you wish to make. We should all have the choice to put chemicals in our bodies when those chemicals could cause harm.

    • Bobby Jackson

      Such a great point many of these severely programmed people are not able to see. Thank you.

      • Bobby Jackson

        You really are lost in this world. It’s not possible to take anything you say seriously. You sound like certain members of my family. Pharma industry is way beyond evil. Keep having faith in these systems. Enjoy. Maybe its time this obsession you have with me will end as well. It is getting pretty creepy you continue trolling me.

      • Bobby Jackson

        I love this creep Fortis and his little gang of 5 cattle that follow me and hit that thumbs down. Fortis you are seriously giving me the creeps.

      • fortisveritas

        I sound like certain members of your family? GOOD! Then it’s obvious that someone out there still cares about you and is concerned about your psychotic rants and views. I’m trolling the troll because I want see what whacked thing you come up with next. Hard to imagine people like yourself but here you are. I might be a lot of things, but lost ain’t one of them. You, on the other hand – need to start listening to your family and seek professional help. Who knows – Big Pharma might even make something for your condition. Diazepam comes to mind.

  • Bob Stevens

    Most “antivax” people aren’t against vaccines… they are against the stuff secretly added into and the cover up of illness and death caused by vaccines as well as politicians trying to ban the info insert.
    Oh and btw… these deceases are back because of the countless unvetted illegals who have the decease from their 3rd world crapholes. Notice most of the outbreaks are in sanctuary cities. With the modern medical and clean water of the US, not much to worry about.

    • Bobby Jackson

      Exactly! These cattle out here are not capable of critical thought any longer due to digital dementia. We now have attention spans of 8 seconds and once there new weapon 5g is going that number will greatly decrease. Military was last time ill ever receive vaxx for anything.

      • fortisveritas

        So Bobby-is 5G only two more worse than 3G, or is a factor-of thing? I was going to let ‘them’ put a 5G tower on my property and I need to know how much more to ask for. 🙄 They did say something about linking it to the atomic collider and opening the gates of hell too. Should I be concerned?

      • fortisveritas

        Bobby, do you realize that the vaccinations you received in the military can enable ‘them’ to track you anywhere in the world, and all they need to do is send a signal (by 5G) to trigger you to carry out the mission they programmed you to do? I think your job is to kill the Malaysian prime minister at a fashion show. So RELAX Bobby…

  • George Arce (@Thoughtank101)

    Why are people who are and have their kids vaccinated worried about those not vaccinated? Does the vaccine not work?. As a child I remember it being common for people to get measles and chickenpox, you would just get treated and get through it. I see a lot of these discussion going on, but none go over the pros and coins of each, they either go over the pros or cons, but not both. I’ve heard of people dying from allergic reactions to the vaccine.

    • Bobby Jackson

      Hey jackass, I just hope you and yours are all vaxxed up you fool. The couch potato veritas is back like always.

      • fortisveritas

        We are, whack job – because we don’t necessarily cherish the thought of having MMR, polio, hep A & B, etc. Hey, keep up the good work though – thanks to lunkheads like you we might just make TB and the Black Plague popular again! Yeah! Dark Ages! Maybe witch burning will come back too!

  • fortisveritas

    Look on the bright side: More Kids with polio will bring the leg brace and crutch business back. Economic stimulus through boneheaded parenting. This is what we get – boomers – for allowing Mario and Luigi and Renn and Stimpy raise our kids.

  • Chris Thorne

    These antivaxxers are all uneducated idiots. Just becysome moron on Facebook makes up fake info on how terrible vaccines are does not mean it’s factually true. Hopefully parents of kids that get sick from unvaxxed kids will start suing these idiot parents.

    • Bobby Jackson

      You are the moron. Talking to you would be like talking to a wall. Get back in front of the programming box you fool.

    • Bobby Jackson

      Hey idiot, why wouldn’t the vaxxer kid be protected from the unvaxxed if your vaccines are so great? Exactly! Nobody has an answer for this.

      • darkhorse6669

        Its not even people worrying about their own kids, its the whole country. Before anti vaxxers most of these diseases were all but extinct in the US. now they are rapidly coming back because SO many people are refusing to vaccinate their children due to some bs their neighbors posted on the internet. Vaccines are way more effective when everyone gets them, that way everyone is protected and it can never begin building again.

      • PAEagleLvr

        Maybe because children do not get all their vaccines all at once the minute they are born. Someone is out in public with their one year old (not fully vaccinated yet) who comes in contact with a child who is un-vaccinated and is about to come down with the measles. The one year old cannot fight the disease off as easily as perhaps and 8 year old, gets severely ill and dies. The 8 year old recovers. So then who is to blame?? Vaccinations should be mandatory in the interest of public health – period.

      • Bobby Jackson

        Its not possible to talk to you cattle. Don’t worry how my family does things. Your vaccinations will protect you.

    • fortisveritas

      Why don’t direct us to some you tube video produced by a basement dwelling millennial? That should clear everything up and end all this confusion caused by science, technology, evidence, and facts.

      • fortisveritas

        Which is why YOU suggested we all watch the video on the 6 corporations that control the media? You’re in such a frenzy you don’t even remember what you posted last week. Give it up already, whack job.

      • fortisveritas

        Let me refresh Bobby’s mushroom addled mind:

        BOBBY JACKSON

        Go to you. Tube. Type ” 6 corporations that control the media ” and compilations with wnep demonstrating all corporate media coast to coast is scripted are there. It blew my mind when I saw this a while back. We’re being taken for a ride.
        APRIL 25, 2019 AT 9:35 AM

        Oops, that’s inconvenient…

      • Bobby Jackson

        I did. Go watch that video creep. It proves all local media is fake news/ propaganda and scripted which wnep is on most of the compilations. I absolutely recommended that video you weirdo. Time for you to end this obsession you have with me.

      • Bobby Jackson

        I feel for you and your cattle buds, terrified you are too see the many deceptions. Like wnep and the rest of them have stolen your minds. Enjoy that you creep.

      • fortisveritas

        Bobby Jackson: Nobody is watching jewtube you pinhead.

        Also Bobby Jackson: I did. Go watch that video… I absolutely recommended that video you…

        So using deductive reasoning, that makes Bobby: Nobody?

        You really are quite the basket case, aren’t you?

    • darkhorse6669

      You OBVIOUSLY dont know what actual propaganda is. These are all accurate statistics.

      • Bobby Jackson

        Any statistic coming from any government organization is not accurate fool. Get back to CNN you clown.

      • Bobby Jackson

        Clearly you have no clue about propaganda being used against the American people. You have no idea how idiotic you 2 morons sound.

Comments are closed.

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