Sep 05, 2012
I found this great article on vaccination in this month's edition of Parenting Magazine. I wanted to share it with all you other parents out there.
Is there a whooping cough, measles, or mumps crisis in your community?
If parents choose not to vaccinate their kids, that's their problem right? Nope....it's your problem, too, because it makes your family more vulnerable. Even just one case of these serious illnesses can be dangerous. Whooping cough (aka pertussis) outbreaks in particular are at their highest level in 5 decades, and the infection can be life threatening to infants who have not received all three doses of the vaccine, which is given at 2, 4 and 6 months. Actress Amanda Peet's younger daughter Molly, contracted it when she was 5 months old. She's fine, but the experience rattled her mom enough to become a spokesperson for the vaccine advocacy organization Every Child by Two, a partner in the United Nations Foundations Shot Life campaign, which helps kids in developing countries gain access to vaccines. Cases of measles and mumps have also spiked in the past few years. "These are all vaccine preventable infections, but some parents wrongly believe that the vaccines are more risky than the diseases" says Mary Anne Jackson, MD, section chief of infectious disease at Children's Mercy Hospital and Clinics in Kansas City, MO. Your child's risk of getting infected depends partly on where you live. If too many kids have gone without vaccines, localized outbreaks can spread quickly and more easily.
Get Your Own Booster, Mom!
The severity of the whooping cough epidemic is partly due to the fact that the current vaccines effectiveness begins to diminish after about 5 years. All pregnant women and any adults in contact with children need a pertussis booster shot, so talk to your Dr. about it.
Now my 2 cents. The more I read about how many people are not vaccinating their children, the more alarmed I become. Vaccines are not 100% effective in preventing anything, and the real value and protection lies in the majority being vaccinated. Some of these preventable diseases are reappearing and it scares the heck out of me. Yes, it's your right to choose not to vaccinate, but you have to decide if your child has the right to lead a healthy life too. I find myself becoming more outspoken about this issue as I consider it a public health issue. I worry about my child and all children.