Kids and vaccines
It’s that time of year when the days shorten, stores advertise trendy back-to-school clothes, and parents scramble to make appointments with their kids’ pediatricians for sport physicals and immunizations.
At least, I hope they do.
I am a fervent believer in vaccinations, even though I live in the state (Washington) with–sadly–the highest “opt out” rate in the country.
In 1998 a medical journal published a paper by (now debunked and disgraced) scientist Andrew Wakefield. He implied a link between the MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccine and autism. Since then, many parents have feared vaccinating their children. Wakefield’s evidence was found to be completely fraudulent, but the damage was already done.
Anti-vaxxer websites and spammy emails persist in spreading misinformation and fear.
A few years ago, Seattle pediatrician/blogger, Wendy Sue Swanson, MD, wrote this in response to an anti-vaxxing article published online in Organic Lifestyle Magazine:
Rigorous scientific study proves vaccines have saved lives. The World Health Organization estimates that vaccines save the lives of 3 million people every year and reduce suffering of millions more. There are tomes of scientific studies to support vaccine benefit to human health and survival.
Furthermore, the 2013 Institute of Medicine (IOM) report on immunization safety reviewed over 1,000 studies on vaccine safety and came away stating,
This report is the most comprehensive examination of the immunization schedule to date. The IOM committee uncovered no evidence of major safety concerns associated with adherence to the childhood immunization schedule.
Opting for an organic, healthy, natural, pesticide-free and thoughtful life in my opinion is an exciting and healthy choice. Living a long time thanks to minimized infectious disease risk thanks to remarkable vaccine development is a true luxury of our time.
Immunization schedules and vaccine resources
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has lots of information devoted to vaccines and immunization.
Here is a link to their 2016 immunization schedule for children ages birth to 18. Take a look to make sure your kids are up-to-date.
Are you an adult and not sure which immunizations you might need? The CDC can tell you that, too!
I’ve written many posts on the safety and necessity of vaccines. Here are a few:
- A physician explains why vaccinations are necessary
- Meningitis—Outbreaks and vaccinations
- The HPV vaccine is working
And these books on vaccines and their history are well worth reading, especially the one that reminds us how frightening it must have been to be a parent before the polio vaccine was introduced.
Lastly, you can find more information about vaccines on my Resources page.