Gracie, now 6 months, had her next round of vaccinations. It puts me at ease to know I'm protecting her from so many preventable diseases. Still, I find so many moms out there who still think that some vaccinations are linked to Autism.
That is a fallacy that has been refuted by all the world's major medical associations. Here are links to the research, including the Center for Disease Control, the World Health Organization, and The National Institutes of Health. Even the British Medical Journal that originally published the article has rebuked it, calling it a "fraud" with "bogus data."
"Clear evidence of falsification of data should now close the door on this damaging vaccine scare," in a British Medical Journal article titled "Wakefield's article linking MMR vaccine and autism was fraudulent."
Recently, my children and I were invited over to a new friend's home. Although I enjoy my friend's company very much, I admit I held my breath when she told me her older children were not vaccinated. I was concerned for my baby, who hasn't gotten all of her shots.
After a discussion with a pediatric nurse, I learned that Grace is better protected than my friend's children and I shouldn't be alarmed. That was good news to hear. Frankly, with a baby, I didn't know if I should be alarmed or not.
Then, however, she explained that one of the real concerns these days is whooping cough (pertussis). The instances of this highly contagious disease are growing exponentially.
"In Washington, there have been 1,484 cases reported statewide through May 12, 2012, compared to 134 reported cases in 2011 during the same period," according to the Center For Disease Control website. "There were 965 cases reported statewide in 2011 compared to 608 reported cases in 2010."
My nurse friend also told me that booster shots wear off over time. As adults, we should ask our doctors if we need a booster. Teens are no longer advised to wait until high school to get the booster. Instead, it is now commonly given in sixth grade.
I have family members who were stricken by life-altering diseases that are now largely eliminated due to vaccinations. Our society is not fighting measles, mumps, rubella, polio, chicken pox and so many more diseases like we one were.
I was 2 or 3 when I got the chicken pox. I was pretty sick for a couple weeks. Luckily, my kids won't ever have to go through that. Unfortunately, some others probably still will.