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As Experts Agree On Measles Vaccine, Parents Debate

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) -- A debate over vaccinations is raging among South Florida parents after reports that measles outbreak at Disney land was spread by people who have not received the measles vaccine.

One South Florida mother and doctor is outraged that some parents chose not to have their children vaccinated.

"There's no bona fide reason why parents shouldn't get their kids vaccinated. It's mostly people's fears of things that are no true," said parent Karen Bennett.

CLICK HERE To Watch MaryAnn Martinez's Report 

At least 59 people in California have been infected with measles since December.

The cases have been linked to an outbreak at two Disney theme parks in Anaheim and park visitors who don't have the measles shot.

"We've seen what happens when vaccinations are not given to all children," said Pediatrician Dr. Holly Mahon.

Although experts universally agree that getting the measles vaccine is not dangerous, CBS4's MaryAnn Martinez talked to one South Florida mother and grandmother who understood why some parents don't get their kids vaccinated.

"A lot of friends have autistic children...never used to hear of autistic children 20 years ago," said parent Valerie Austin.

The Centers For Disease Control measles vaccines have been available in the United States since 1963.

The two dose vaccine is more than 99 percent effective in preventing measles.

"We want children at one year of age to get the first dose of vaccine and to get the second dose when they are four to six years of age," said Alvaro Mejia-Echeverry, M.D. Miami-Dade Health Department.

While some parents are opting their kids out, there is some comfort for parents who have their kids inoculated.

"The good thing, for kids that have been vaccinated, it's highly unlikely that they get vaccinated and get the measles," said Nabil El Sanadi, M.D. with the Broward Health Medical Center.

Health experts in Broward said it's never too late to get vaccinated for measles.


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