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Study Finds Unvaccinated Children Create Path For Whooping Cough To Spread

<p>Dr. Harry Chen gives a whooping cough vaccine on Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2012 in Barre, Vermont.</p>

Toby Talbot

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Dr. Harry Chen gives a whooping cough vaccine on Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2012 in Barre, Vermont.

A study by the Oregon Immunization Program finds that unvaccinated children spread pertussis through their communities.

The study, published in the , looked at a pertussis — or whooping cough — outbreak from 2012.

It found that while more than 90 percent of Oregon children were vaccinated, that didn’t stop the disease from spreading.

Epidemiologist and study author Steve Robison said parents who are reluctant to immunize often socialize with people who share a similar reluctance. And that, he said, may provide a way for infectious diseases to spread.

Vaccine skeptics in Oregon have filed a series of seven initiatives for the November ballot. Among other things, the measures would repeal current childhood immunization laws and require the state set up a study of vaccinated versus unvaccinated children — to see if there’s a link with autism.

The CDC has repeatedly said there is no link.

Copyright 2017 Oregon Public Broadcasting

Kristian Foden-Vencil is a reporter and producer for Oregon Public Broadcasting. He specializes in health care, business, politics, law and public safety.