Historically, parents consulted a Phoenix children’s doctor about immunizations, but the increased use of social media, blogging, and online parenting forums has exposed a number of concerns regarding immunizations that are spreading throughout the parenting community. These hesitations stem from rumors, such as the one stating that the measles, mumps and rubella vaccinations were linked to autism. Even after the case was declared fraudulent and the physician that started the rumor lost his license, 1 in 4 parents still believe these false rumors, according to KidsHealth.
In 2011, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported the highest levels of measles cases in the last 15 years, a majority of cases in individuals without measles immunizations. Parents often ask the physicians at Pediatrix why vaccinations are important, even when the disease is rare or non-existent in the United States. In actual fact, the use of vaccinations is the reason why a disease may be rare or non-existent. As children’s doctors in Phoenix, we advocate the following truths about vaccinations:
- Community Immunity: When a majority of a community’s population is vaccinated against an infectious disease, the individual risk of contracting said disease is significantly reduced even if unvaccinated.
- Foreign Considerations: Although a disease may be rare in the United States, other countries may not be so fortunate and the disease could be introduced from a foreign source.
- Think about the Unvaccinated: Elderly, pregnant women, infants and individuals with a compromised immune system cannot receive certain immunizations. By vaccinating every eligible individual, the chances of an infectious disease being spread is minimized.
- It’s Required: Some states have immunization requirements, but most schools require all students to be vaccinated prior to enrollment. Speak with your children’s doctor to learn more about school vaccination requirements.
Ensuring your child is current with his or her vaccinations greatly minimizes the risk of succumbing to a preventable disease. The physicians at Pediatrix are experienced with administering vaccinations to the Valley’s children, satisfying school and state requirements while addressing the needs of children and concerns of parents. Call Pediatrix at (602) 866-0550 today or contact us online to schedule an appointment, or learn more about the vaccinations we administer.
Subir K. Mitra, MD FAAP
Posted in Blog on July 6th, 2012