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'Are You Vaccinated?' CDC wants to know

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HOUSTON (FOX 26) -

The Centers for Disease Control is seeking to find out how many American children are not fully vaccinated. 

The CDC is spearheading a National Immunization Survey amid an uptick in diseases that were once thought to be all but vanquished.

Texas is seeing outbreaks of measles and whooping cough. And medical experts say that's partially because of children who aren't fully immunized over concerns linking vaccines to autism. 

"He was fully vaccinated until he was almost 2 years old," said Leslie Phillips, whose 13 year old son Andrew was developing normally, up to the age of about 15 months. "And then he regressed into autism. And at the time we were living in Singapore and the doctor there told me to stop vaccinating him."

Phillips is convinced there is a connection. 

But Dr. Kim Smith says vaccines have a low incidence of side effects and the risks from not vaccinating are much higher. 

"The vaccines are very safe," said Smith, a UTHealth pediatrician practicing at Children's Memorial Hermann Hospital. "In my 30-year career, I can't tell you how dramatic it's been to see some of these diseases disappear." 

And so the decision to skip vaccinations is not one to be taken lightly, according to Anna Dragsbaek with the Immunization Partnership. 

"That decision affects yourself, your family members, your neighbors and anybody else in the community that you come into contact with on a regular basis," Dragsbaek said. "It's not just a personal health decision. This is a community health decision."

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