I’m Sandy Gilbertson, Pediatric Nurse Practitioner, and I have been providing primary care for children in the St. Joseph for over 20 years. During that time, I have seen people suffer from diseases such as pertussis, measles, mumps, meningitis, chickenpox, and influenza, so I know how important it is to protect children from these and other potentially deadly diseases. I firmly believe that the immunizations that are currently in use are safe and effective. I immunize my own children and advise them to immunize my grandchildren. Although, it remains an individual decision whether or not to immunize, I strongly recommend that parents fully investigate and understand the risks to their children, families, friends, and communities if they choose not to immunize.
Northwest Health Services encourages all parents to fully immunize their children. Choosing not to immunize affects not only the health of one child, but also the health of families, friends, and communities. As healthcare providers, we encourage all parents to consider these Top 10 Reasons to Protect Children through Vaccination:
- Parents want to do everything possible to make sure their children are healthy and protected from preventable diseases. Vaccination is the best way to do that.
- Vaccination protects children from serious illness and complications of vaccine-preventable diseases which can include amputation of an arm or leg, paralysis of limbs, hearing loss, convulsions, brain damage, and death.
- Vaccine-preventable diseases, such as measles, mumps, and whooping cough, are still a threat. They continue to infect U.S. children, resulting in hospitalizations and deaths every year.
- Though vaccination has led to a dramatic decline in the number of U.S. cases of several infectious diseases, some of these diseases are quite common in other countries and are brought to the U.S. by international travelers. If children are not vaccinated, they could easily get one of these diseases from a traveler or while traveling themselves.
- Outbreaks of preventable diseases occur when many parents decide not to vaccinate their children.
- Vaccination is safe and effective. All vaccines undergo long and careful review by scientists, doctors, and the federal government to make sure they are safe.
- Organizations such as the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Academy of Family Physicians, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention all strongly support protecting children with recommended vaccinations.
- Vaccination protects others you care about, including family members, friends, and grandparents.
- If children aren’t vaccinated, they can spread disease to other children who are too young to be vaccinated or to people with weakened immune systems, such as transplant recipients and people with cancer. This could result in long-term complications and even death for these vulnerable people.
- We all have a public health commitment to our communities to protect each other and each other’s children by vaccinating our own family members.
Words from Dr. Brown Keebler, MD at Northwest Health Services’ Mound City Medical Clinic:
I am a pro-vaccination provider, although I am willing to work with parents who may want to have an alternative vaccination schedule to alleviate their fears and provide the best care for their child.
I like to provide my patients with a couple of websites to glean some information regarding vaccine side effects, which is usually the normal concern for patients and parents. Patients with questions can visit http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vac-gen/side-effects.htm#mmr or http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vac-gen/default.htm
This links are great for explaining everything you would ever need to know about vaccines without taking an Immunology course.
For more information about our providers or clinics visit nwhealth-services.org.