For Lilyana Salazar, it was never about making a statement.

As a child, she rarely got sick. Nothing more than the occasional cold. Her mother, a nurse, would often deal with patients who had very contagious illnesses, but neither Lilyana’s mother nor anybody who lived in the house with her ever got seriously sick. So Lilyana’s mother decided that her daughter should not receive any non-mandatory vaccinations. In her opinion, there was no point to get vaccinated if she never got sick.

Now a biology pre-vet major in her first year at Ball State University, Lilyana is content with her mother’s decision not to give her all the recommended vaccinations as a child. She plans on doing the same with her own children when she is older.

A 2016 study by the American Academy of Pediatrics found that an increasing number of parents are choosing to not vaccinate their children because they believe vaccines are unnecessary. This conclusion differs from the trend over the last few decades, when people refused to vaccinate themselves or their children over concerns that the vaccine would weaken their immune systems or cause another disease or disorder.

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