This post’s picture is that of children whose families have had them bused to a polio vaccination clinic where they waited in line for the polio vaccine.
Vaccines are truly a victim of their own success, how many of us personally know someone with polio? Diphtheria? (remember Balto…and more recently, Togo?!) When people forget the diseases that used to strike fear into the hearts of parents with febrile children, we forget that we need to prevent against them, and it can begin to feel like an invisible or perhaps made up danger. Many physicians in our practice have seen these diseases during training and in our practice. We have personally seen children die or narrowly escape death, sometimes with permanent disability, so they are still very real dangers to us, hence our strong support of vaccinations.
Perhaps the greatest endorsement we can offer for the safety and efficacy of vaccines is that all physicians and nurse practitioners with children in our office have vaccinated their children on time. We do not recommend delayed schedules, rather recommend giving them based on the CDC (Center for Disease Control) recommended schedule. Vaccines have our full confidence (even the flu shot) because we have seen how they prevent deaths and keep children safe; this does not mean there are never any side effects or reactions to vaccines, however they are exceptionally rare.
Fear is incredibly potent. It spreads easily and is incredibly difficult to counteract and this is the primary weapon used in the media to frighten parents out of vaccinating. The problem is that by choosing not to vaccinate or delaying vaccination you are exposing your child (and those around them) to very real danger. These refusals and delays are the reason we are seeing a resurgence of diseases that once had been eradicated thanks to vaccines. If you have specific questions or concerns about vaccines please discuss them with your doctor rather than googling or polling social media. We want to answer your questions with scientific evidence rather than experiential evidence that often populates online forums.
Information on this topic can be overwhelming, so we have listed some resources below. As always, look for quality, science-based answers to your questions. #doctorsspeakup #vaccineswork
Some great resources for parents with questions:
Deadly Choices by Paul Offit