AUSTIN, Texas — Eleven year old Mia Garcia is an accomplished Tejano musician -- one of the youngest.
Her parents made the decision to stop her vaccinations at a young age.
“She's turned out to be an excellent student, straight-A honor roll,” her father, Christopher Garcia, said. “She just won 'Best New Female Artist' for Tejano Music Awards, she’s a black belt in karate, she does horseback riding, she’s extremely talented.”
Christopher is among a growing number of Austinites who have chosen to not get their kids vaccinated against common childhood illness.
“There's different drugs, there's different chemicals, very powerful, very toxic that have been found in research,” Garcia said.
“On social media and things, there's a lot of misinformation out there,” Dr. Phil Huang, with Austin Public Health, said.
Dr. Huang said a lot of the risks parents hear about aren't true.
“There are reports of vaccinations being associated with autism -- those studies were totally discredited,” Dr. Huang said. “The scientist who performed that was discredited and was shown that he made up some of the data. So, [vaccinations] have been well-studied, they're safe and they're effective."
He said immunizations have saved countless lives.
“People forget that before vaccinations, we used to have 500,000 cases of measles in the United States and 450 to 500 deaths due to measles,” Dr. Huang said.