To Vaccinate, or Not to Vaccinate. That is the Question.

Every fall, parents everywhere take their kids to the doctors to get the latest round of immunizations before school starts. Many parents consent to these shots, assuming they are in the best interest of their children because the schools, doctors, and the Center for Disease Control say so. However, some parents, after doing some research, determine they do not feel that these immunizations are in the best interest of their children. It is a small number of parents who know that they do have some control over which, if any, of these shots are given to their kids.
In most states, including New York, parents can file for an exemption for immunizations based on either medical reasons or religious beliefs. The CFIC (Coalition for Informed Choice) points out that it is easier to obtain a “personal beliefs exemption” than a medical one. Using this exemption, a parent can not choose to give certain vaccinations but not others. The rules for this exemption are rather loose, as a parent does not need to admit to any particular church or faith, one must simply declare that immunizations are against your family’s personal religious beliefs. If a parent has already given their child some shots and now choose to forego additional shots, they may tell school officials that the previous decision was based on misinformation and hence misinformed consent and you are now basing your decision on informed consent.
A medical exemption must be endorsed by a physician. They are fairly hard to come by, unless the child has a proven allergy to eggs or other proteins, and even then a child is often only exempted from particular immunizations, not all of them. The physician must re-endorse the exemption for every school year and if a child grows out of the medical condition that justified the exemption, the vaccination will be required.
It is not my intention to convince parents one way or the other in regards to vaccinations, but to encourage parents to research what they are having their children injected with and make a choice they are comfortable with. As usual, discuss your concerns with a physician you trust, but do your own research from multiple sources- Obviously an autism website will be anti-vaccine, whereas a government site will be for them. Here are a few links from both perspectives:

A case against vaccinations

The National Network for Immunization Information

CDC (Note- these charts show RECOMMENDED immunizations, not all listed are required

Exemption information