Check out our short interview with Public Health Professional Andrea Gierok, M.P.H., CHES
- Immunizations can save children’s lives and protect the child from diseases, as well they can save families time and money by keeping them healthy.
- We are able to eliminate certain diseases due to Immunizations.
What is the importance of herd immunity?
- A lot of vaccine Preventable diseases still occur. We can protect others we care about that cannot receive vaccinations.
What would happen if we stopped vaccinations?
- During an outbreak of Whooping cough in Japan in 1974, about 80% of Japanese children were vaccinated for Whooping cough. In that year there were only about 393 cases in the entire country, and not a single pertussis related death. In the late 1970’s their immunization rates began declining to where only 10% of children were vaccinated for the disease. In 1979, they had more than 13,000 people get Whooping cough and 41 fatalities. When they returned to routine vaccinations for pertussis, the disease cases declined. When we start to see vaccination rates drop off, we start losing that herd immunity, vulnerable populations become very vulnerable to diseases that have either been eradicated previously or dropped off.
What is the main controversy regarding vaccines?
- In 1998, a British publication linked the MMR vaccine to Autism. This publication received a lot of attention but later, investigators found that the lead researchers were paid to find a link between the MMR vaccine Autism. Several studies done after that have found that there is no link, and the initial publication was retracted.
Do you think we do enough safety testing with vaccines?
- Vaccines are studied and studied; they go through a very strict regime before they are used on children. There are many sources regarding vaccine safety, such as the CDC or the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). As a parent, I feel that they’re safe and worth whatever minimal side effects you may have. Both my kids had very little in terms of side effects from vaccinations.