Vaccination Debate: Several reasons why you should vaccinate your children – WDSU New Orleans

LATONYA: TODAY, MANY PEOPLE ARE OPTING OUT OF VACCINATING THEIR CHILDREN AND THIS IS CAUSING CONCERN FOR THE MEDICAL COMMUNITY. WHILE IT IS UP TO THE PARENT, WDSU MEDICAL EDITOR DR. COREY HEBERT GOES OVER SOME NUMBERS THAT SHOW VACCINATIONS ARE IN OUR FAVOR. DR. COREY: EARLY IN 2015, A MEASLES OUTBREAK AT CALIFORNIA’S DISNEYLAND INFECTED 52 PEOPLE WITH THE VACCINE-PREVENTABLE DISEASE. SINCE THEN, CALLS FOR MANDATORY VACCINATION OF ALL SCHOOL-AGED CHILDREN, INCREASES IN ADOLESCENT VACCINATION COVERAGE, INCREASES IN PARENTAL KNOWLEDGE ABOUT VACCINES, AND INCREASES IN SAFETY AND EFFICACY RESEARCH HAVE BECOME PART OF THE NATIONAL DISCUSSION ON VACCINES. SO WITH AUGUST DESIGNATED AS NATIONAL IMMUNIZATION AWARENESS MONTH, I WANT TO TELL YOU ABOUT A FEW OF THE MOST INFORMATIVE AND NOTEWORTHY RECENT STORIES IN VACCINATION NEWS. FIRST, THE CALIFORNIA ASSEMBLY PASSED SENATE BILL 277, WHICH IS LEGISLATION THAT ELIMINATES THE PERSONAL BELIEF EXEMPTION AND REQUIRES ALL SCHOOLCHILDREN TO BE VACCINATED UNLESS THEY ARE MEDICALLY EXEMPT, MAKING IT ONE OF THE STRICTEST MANDATORY VACCINATION LAWS IN THE UNITED STATES. AS A GROUP, I THINK THAT FOLKS UNDERSTAND THAT THE DECISIONS MADE ABOUT CHILDREN’S HEALTH CARE ARE DEEPLY PERSONAL AND SHOULD RESPECT THE FUNDAMENTAL RIGHT TO MAKE MEDICAL DECISIONS AS A FAMILY, BUT WHEN YOUR DECISIONS AS A FAMILY ENCROACH ON MY HEALTH, THEN A DEBATE CAN ENSUE. NUMBER 2 — ADOLESCENT TDAP, WHICH PROTECTS AGAINST PERTUSSIS AND TETANUS, MENINGITIS, AND HPV VACCINATION COVERAGE, INCREASED IN THE UNITED STATES FROM 2013 TO 2014, ALTHOUGH HPV VACCINATION COVERAGE REMAINS COMPARATIVELY LOW, ACCORDING TO A RECENT REPORT IN MMWR. AS PHYSICIANS, WE ARE FRUSTRATED THAT IN 2014, FOUR OUT OF 10 ADOLESCENT GIRLS AND SIX OUT OF 10 ADOLESCENT BOYS HAD NOT EVEN STARTED THE HPV VACCINE SERIES AND ARE VULNERABLE TO CANCERS CAUSED BY HPV. MUCH MORE EDUCATION IS NEEDED TO MAKE SURE THAT OUR YOUNG PEOPLE ARE PROTECTED. THIRDLY, PARENTS VIEW VACCINE SAFETY BENEFITS MORE FAVORABLY. PARENTS’ OPINIONS ON THE SAFETY AND EFFECTIVENESS OF VACCINES HAVE SHIFTED TOWARD MORE OF A BENEFIT AND LESS OF A THREAT, ACCORDING TO THE LATEST C.S. MOTT CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL NATIONAL POLL ON CHILDREN’S HEALTH. OUTBREAKS OF DISEASES THAT CAN SAFELY BE PREVENTED THROUGH ROUTINE CHILDHOOD VACCINATION HAVE BECOME MORE COMMON IN THE U.S. OVER THE LAST SEVERAL YEARS, SO WE ARE ON THE RIGHT TRACK WITH THIS ONE. AND LASTLY, THE TWO-DOSE CHICKENPOX VACCINATION PROGRAM REDUCED U.S. CHICKENPOX OUTBREAKS BY 78%. A RECENT STUDY REPORTED THAT A ROUTINE TWO-DOSE VARICELLA VACCINATION PROGRAM LAUNCHED IN 2007 HAS DRASTICALLY REDUCED THE NUMBER OF CHICKENPOX OUTBREAKS. AND ALTHOUGH VARICELLA OUTBREAKS HAVE DECLINED DURING THE TWO-DOSE VARICELLA ERA, THEY CONTINUE TO POSE A CHALLENGE TO MANAGE AND CONTROL, SO WE HAVE REALLY GOT TO BE CAREFUL WITH THIS ONE. LOOK, IT’S VERY WELL DOCUMENTED THAT WITHOUT VACCINATION AND SANITATION, THE U.S. MAY NOT EVEN BE HERE, SO DO ME A FAVOR. GET VACCINATED. GET YOUR KIDS VACCINATED AND GET YOUR PARENTS VACCINATED. IT MAY SAVE YOUR LIFE ONE DAY. I’M MEDICAL EDITOR DR. COREY