Vaccine Safety: Getting the Message to Parents in Doubt
August 28, 2014
Source - U.S. News & World Report
Measles, mumps and whooping cough have been around a long time – along with the vaccines to prevent them. But instead of being a distant memory in the United States – like polio – outbreaks of these infectious childhood diseases keep cropping up, and parents refusing or delaying vaccinations are a contributing factor. With a steady flow of misinformation online on vaccine safety, it’s no wonder some parents hesitate. But childhood illnesses can cause serious harm, and teens and young adults can also be at risk when their childhood immunity fades. In response, doctors are going beyond office visits to spread the word on immunizations. Dr. Wendy Sue Swanson, a pediatrician and executive director of digital health at Seattle Children's, has empathy for parents who don’t want to expose their “beautiful, perfect and healthy” baby to a medical intervention. A mother herself, she understands that when it comes to protecting their children, parents often have an instinct that “less is more.” But, she says, childhood vaccinations are “the profound exception” to that notion. When it comes potentially dangerous diseases, the more you can prevent them through immunization, the better.