Three Good Reasons to Vaccinate

11 August 2014 Written by  

immunization FBpost BackToSchoolIn just a few short weeks kids will be back in school. As you make the checklist for new supplies, backpacks and clothes, don't forget to include making sure vaccinations are up to date. Here are three important reminders from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):

1.       “Vaccines are among the safest and most cost-effective ways to prevent disease.”Reference A

As CNN reported earlier this month, “Childhood vaccines are safe.  Seriously.”  The myth that vaccines cause autism stems from a fraudulent 1998 paper which has since been retracted. Its author lost his medical license for faking the study. Reference B Just two weeks ago, an exhaustive review of research on vaccine safety appeared in the medical journal Pediatrics, concluding that there are no ties between vaccines and autism and that side effects from vaccines are incredibly rare. In contrast, pointed out Dr. Carrie Byington, of the University of Utah, Department of Pediatrics: "There were good reasons that these diseases were targeted for vaccine development since they are so life-threatening." Reference C

2.        “Diseases like measles are only a plane ride away.” Reference A

We learned this the hard way in 2011, when an unvaccinated high school student returned to Salt Lake City from a trip to Europe infected with measles.  To control the outbreak, 184 people were quarantined and approximately $300,000 was spent on infection control measures by local hospitals and health departments. Most of the Utahns who became sick had not been vaccinated.  Reference D

3.       “Vaccines don’t just protect your child. Some diseases, like whooping cough, can be deadly for newborns or infants. You can help protect our littlest community members from being exposed to vaccine-preventable diseases by making sure your child is up to date.” Reference A 

Right now, whooping cough, also called pertussis, is epidemic in nearby California. Reference E   (Only a plane ride away!  Or even a drive!) While California has relatively good vaccination rates overall, clusters of people choosing not to vaccinate who live in the same neighborhoods have contributed to outbreaks. Reference C  The California Department of Health reports: “Infants too young to be fully immunized remain most vulnerable to severe and fatal cases of pertussis. Two-thirds of pertussis hospitalizations have been in children four months or younger. Two infant deaths have been reported.” Reference E  When children and adults are vaccinated, we don’t transmit diseases to susceptible babies.

More information about vaccination is available through the CDC, the Utah Department of Health or your local health department.

April Young Bennett 300April Young Bennett, Communications Director, joined the organization in 2014. She received her Master of Public Administration from the University of Arizona and her Bachelor in Community Health Education from Utah State University. Prior to joining Voices for Utah Children, April worked for the Utah Department of Health for over a decade, addressing health disparities among minorities and other underserved Utahns. She completed internships and fellowships with the VA Salt Lake City Health Care System, the Center for Applied Behavioral Health Policy and the U.S. Senate.