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Two of the top three resolutions this year were about vaccine refusal. One requested a policy statement calling for the elimination of nonmedical exemptions to the requirement that children be immunized to attend school and day care. The other asked the academy to support “pediatricians who decide to discharge patients after a reasonable, finite amount of time working with parents who refuse to immunize their children according to the recommended schedule, or who fail to abide by an agreed-upon, recommended catch-up schedule.”

Let me tell you about two cases of pertussis — whooping cough — from about 15 years ago. The first one is my own, probably caught from a sick kid, back before the development of the adult booster shot; thanks to an astute colleague, I got the diagnosis, and we began the wearisome task of contacting the families of every child I had seen in the clinic or the newborn nursery during my infectious days to inform them of the possible exposure.

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