Are vaccines really safe? Most doctors insist they are, and that they help prevent the spread of disease, but many Garden State residents have doubts.

A bottle containing a measles vaccine (Photo illustration by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

According to Sue Collins, the co-founder of the New Jersey Coalition for Vaccination Choice, parents are concerned about mandatory vaccines being given to their kids.

"Vaccinations are a medical procedure that are going to have some risk of injury, adverse reactions and even deaths for some people," Collins said.

She said everyone should have the right to decide what is injected into their body, and the bodies of their children.

"Each family has different reasons for opposing mandatory vaccinations, some are religious, others are medical," Collins said. "Vaccinations are not necessarily right for everyone, we do know that some people are going to be harmed by them."

She also said it isn't good enough to say that the risks of a problem when getting vaccinated are very slim.

"If you're someone that reacts adversely or dies from a vaccine, then the risks for you are 100 percent," she said.

According to Collins, the theory of "herd immunity" -- where those who get immunized will help protect those who don't -- is based on naturally acquiring the disease and lifelong immunity, but we're finding that many vaccines only last for a few to several years, which is why we keep mandating more booster shots.

"Children today get 49 doses of 14 vaccines before age 6, and 69 doses of 16 vaccines by age 18," Collins said. "There's no studies to show how all these vaccines in combination with each other affect a developing immune system both for efficacy and safety."

The bottom line, Collins said, is that many people feel they're being forced into vaccinations.

"Parents right now are just feeling like their rights are being trampled, and they are being forced to take medical procedures that they may not want to take. The government is enforcing rules and legislation, and has removed all liability from the vaccine manufacturers," Collins said.

She added if you are injured by a vaccine you have no recourse against the vaccine manufacturers.

"That's a huge problem, this blanket immunity," she said. "Vaccines should always be an option, we need religious, medical other exemptions to give people a choice."

At the same time, she said there are still concerns that vaccines are linked to autism.

"The government has paid families and admitted that vaccines in those particular cases have caused autism," she said.

Collins also said live virus vaccines may cause disease to spread to those with weakened immune systems.