Letter to the Editor: Vaccinations are important to our health
October 13, 2011
We applaud Chris Arth for his column and#8220;Vaccines and#8212; the best prevention money can buy.and#8221;
It is a struggle to explain to parents who donand#8217;t want to vaccinate that their child is vulnerable to infectious disease. Itand#8217;s a harder sell when as adults they have not witnessed or experienced the illness first hand, or through the ordeals of neighbors, friends or family members.
What they have experienced is the Internet search information overload that makes decision making overwhelming. I am certain that in the 50s and 60s parents never blinked at getting their child immunized for polio when they had lived through childhood summer time outbreaks and quarantines themselves.
Those of us whoand#8217;ve worked in emergency departments throughout the 80s and 90s, joyfully watched rates of infants and toddlers who needed evaluation for profound bacterial infections (including the dreaded spinal tap) drop dramatically as the widespread use of pneumonia and HIB vaccines increased. Throughout the world, the rate of meningitis and invasive disease that killed or permanently injured children plummeted with the introduction of these vaccines.
Most of us think nothing of clearing pine needles and dead wood around our house to protect our home from fire. We donand#8217;t forget to put on our studded snow tires in the fall, or check to be sure we buckle our childand#8217;s car seat in correctly. These are actions to protect who we love against and#8220;in caseand#8221; scenarios. Vaccinating babies and children also protects against the and#8220;in caseand#8221; illness scenario, which is just as real as a potential car accident or fire.
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