By Dr. Janet Seabrook, Gary Crusader
Can you hear school bells ringing in the distance? It’s almost time for the children to go back to school. Whether they are headed to kindergarten or off to college, there may be some type of immunization or health check-up required before entering the classroom.
The mere mention of immunization often sparks a debate for some parents. There are some who feel this practice may be harmful and may result in the contraction of other medical conditions; however, according to the Center for Disease Control, there are five important reasons that immunizations are beneficial:
- Immunizations can be lifesaving. Thanks to steady medical advances, diseases like polio that were once deadly are basically non-existent because of vaccines.
- Vaccinations are safe and effective. Vaccines are given to children only after comprehensive studies have been conducted by healthcare professionals, doctors and scientists. According to the CDC, “The most comprehensive scientific studies and reviews have not found a link between vaccines and autism. Groups of experts, including the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Institute of Medicine (IOM), the National Institute of Health (NIH), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other federal agencies also agree that vaccines are not responsible for the number of children now recognized to have autism.”
- Immunizations save time and money. A decision to forego vaccination can lead to other issues such as prevention of your child’s school enrollment, contraction of diseases that result in costly medical bills, lost time at work or even long-term disability care. Fortunately, the Vaccines for Children program is a federally funded initiative that provides vaccines at no cost to families that might not be able to afford them. Find out more about the VFC program at http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/programs/vfc/.
- Immunizations protect our loved ones. It is important to remember that vaccine preventable diseases still occur on occasion. Getting fully vaccinated protects your loved ones from being susceptible to these diseases and not spreading them to family and friends.
- Vaccinations protect future generations. Thanks to the creation of vaccines, our children no longer can contract small pox because the disease was wiped out. This type of trend can continue as medical research advances and we do our part by getting vaccinated.
If you are still on the fence about immunizations, make an appointment to speak with your physician to have an in-depth discussion about your concerns. He or she will be able to provide more details to help you make an informed decision.
Join us Saturday, August 11 at the RailCats Stadium in downtown Gary for our Back-to-School Health Fair from 9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. There will be free school supplies, haircuts, manicures, health and nutrition info and, of course, free immunizations.
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