Kyle Childers, MD, Lexington Clinic Pediatrics
As a pediatrician, I know the value of vaccines. There are a very important part of routine well child care and preventative medicine. Unfortunately, thanks to a lot of bad press, more and more parents are starting to question the need for vaccination. I am afraid that misinformation will cause some parents to make a bad decision regarding immunizations.
If you are one of many parents with questions about vaccines, you have no doubt consulted the internet. There are some really great resources on the web, and then there are some that are not so great. I have found two websites that I particularly like and will often recommend to parents with questions about immunizations. The links are at the end of this post-feel free to check them out. Of course, no resource can be a substitute for your pediatrician, who you should also consult before making any decisions.
Many people claim that organizations who endorse vaccines use scare tactics to convince people to comply. The bottom line is that the diseases we are immunizing against are devastating illnesses and have the potential to kill. I have seen healthy kids become deathly ill and even die from diseases that we can prevent with vaccines. It is not a scare tactic-it is a reality.
We have been hugely successful in this country with vaccines and we have greatly reduced the incidence of these illnesses. While this is a great achievement, it has had the negative effect of convincing many parents that their children don-t need to get vaccines because their children will never be exposed to the disease. Don't be fooled; these diseases are still out there-and they are closer than you think.
It is important to continue to have high immunization rates so that we can keep these diseases at bay and continue to ensure our children a healthy future.