Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Vaccines help keep children healthy

Editor's note : Maybe the good doctor needs to get some better information. He references safety studies that have been proven to unreliable at best.

Q & A: OU Physicians pediatrician Dr. Casey Hester

Published: July 27, 2009
The Oklahoman

Click here to read the article and comments on NewsOK.com

Many parents have questions about their child’s vaccinations. Dr. Casey Hester, a pediatrician with OU Physicians, answers some of the most common questions.

Q: Measles? Whooping cough? Haven’t we gotten rid of most of these diseases in this country?

Dr. Hester: Thanks to vaccines, most diseases prevented by vaccines are no longer common in this country. However, previously rare vaccine-preventable diseases like whooping cough, Hib (a bacteria that causes meningitis), and measles are all on the rise due to fewer children getting immunized. The only way to protect your child against these potentially devastating diseases is to vaccinate him or her.

Q: I heard that some vaccines can cause autism. Is this true?

Dr. Hester: No. Scientific studies and reviews have found no relationship between vaccines and autism. Groups of experts, including the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Institute of Medicine and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention agree that vaccines are not responsible for the number of children now recognized to have autism. In fact, in 2004 a long-disputed 1998 study that suggested a possible link between autism and the MMR vaccine was retracted. Autism is also not caused by combining certain vaccines, so there is no benefit to separating out individual vaccines. Separating out vaccines only causes your child to have more needle sticks, and potentially delays immunizations. Unfortunately, anecdotal (and occasionally frightening) stories of untoward vaccine effects persist on the Internet. Parents should be advised to share any concerns with their child’s pediatrician, who can then provide credible, scientific sources of information so that parents may make fully informed decisions about vaccinations.

Q: It seems like a lot of shots for my tiny baby! Is this safe? Can’t I just wait until my child goes to school to catch up on immunizations?

Dr. Hester: Numerous studies (and decades of effective vaccinations) have shown it is safe for even newborns to get immunized. In fact, many of the diseases vaccines protect against can be very dangerous to infants, and infants are more susceptible to many of these diseases than older children. Even if your child is not in day care, babies and toddlers can all be exposed to diseases from other individuals out in the general community (at restaurants or even at the grocery store), so it is best to stay on schedule.

Q: Why do kids who are healthy, active and eating well need to be immunized?

Dr. Hester: Vaccinations are intended to keep well children from getting sick. If you wait until your child gets sick with a particular illness, it will be too late for the vaccine against that illness to work.

Therefore, the best time to immunize kids is when they’re healthy. That being said, children can also be safely immunized when they have a common cold or other mild illnesses. If the pediatrician says it is okay, your child can still get vaccinated.

From Staff Reports


Nicole said...

I agree that it's best to immunize children when they are most healthy. This is actually one of the hottest topics to be discussed in the upcoming 4th International Public Conference on Vaccination. Here's the link for more info - http://www.nvic.org/events.aspx

Krisha@pediatric emr said...

This is really informative as well as an interesting post to read. Thanks for sharing that good information. This would really help parents there.