"It is important to stick with the immunization schedule laid out by medical experts," he said. "Delaying immunization leaves children susceptible to measles and other communicable diseases."
More than 90 percent of Texans received MMR vaccinations, making its estimated vaccination rate better than 30 other states, according to 2010 data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which is the most recent data available.
Schaffner noted that refusal to vaccinate is on the rise, partly because health officials have done such a good job eradicating diseases through immunization. He said people no longer remember a time when measles caused over 400 deaths a year and there is increasing skepticism about the effectiveness and safety of vaccination.
"It's like we've turned back the clock to the pre-vaccine era and put our children and our neighbors at risk for profound illness," he said.