Some parents today are being swayed by misinformation that has caused them to delay or decline vaccinating their children, jeopardizing the health of many others. I want all people to know that immunizations are safe, and that they work.
The rapid rise of measles of this year has highlighted the importance of vaccines. They are heralded as one of the top 10 successes of public health in the 20th century. So why do some people -- even some health care workers -- choose not to use them?
Parents can opt out of having their kids vaccinated for either philosophical or religious reasons, depending on the state. Posturing as a defender of individual liberty, when people already have it, is selfish political grandstanding and nothing more.
As an immunologist, come winter, I see a lot of children with viral infections, most often caused by respiratory viruses that affect the nose and throat -- and a lot of parents unhappy with the missed school days! But, there are key steps that parents can take to both prevent viral infections in the first place and, should your child come down with one, to aid in a much quicker recovery.
The root our ignorance is the false notion that real patriotism requires blind allegiance to the notion that everything American is better just because it is American. This lie, proselytized by the right, allows the uninformed to bathe in feeling than they are better rather than take on any burden to actually be better
Immunizations given to children at an early age have been instrumental in helping curb vaccine-preventable diseases such as measles and whooping cough, but keeping track of those immunizations over the long term can be challenging in the best of circumstances.
We have major infrastructure needs in many sectors in the United States. The potential impact of a failing public health infrastructure should alarm us and drive action. We can't predict when the next outbreak, epidemic, or disaster will occur, but we can guarantee that it will take place. The question is whether we will work to fortify the public health infrastructure now or deal with the consequences later.
The Disney outbreak could be a game-changer for those of us trying protect children with immunizations. Because suddenly, there is a vaccine-preventable disease that is spreading like wildfire -- and could be dangerous.
These infants were counting on us, their herd, to provide them with community immunity until they were old enough to get vaccinated. It is not science's fault that these children, our fellow Americans, caught the measles. It is not their parents' fault. It is the fault of the anti-vaxxers.
The trouble with holistic medicine, or integrative medicine, is less the holes that can be poked in it by self-proclaimed sentinels of evidence, and more our prevailing tendency to gravitate to diametric poles. The best way forward is the road less traveled, which lies, as it often does, in the middle.
It's absurd that senseless fear of a vaccination or certain chemicals used in the vaccination should lead to the unnecessary death or serious illness of a child.
A big leap it is not from believing in god and the devil to believing in anything at all, including that the president is a radical Christian but also a Muslim and a foreign-citizen socialist who will take your guns away. Facts don't matter; we create a fictional order in the face of randomness and then call that real, and the chasm becomes ever wider.
We are already midway through the first month of the 2015 -- and more importantly, midway through the Decade of Vaccines. With much to accomplish, I compiled a quick list of the 10 advances in global health and vaccinations I would like to see in 2015.
If you choose to avoid standard, recommended vaccines such as measles, you are not merely putting your own health at risk -- you are choosing to do the same for all the rest of us. Sorry, folks, but that's the harsh reality.
We all want what is best for our children, but the truth is that we are all in this together. Vaccines matter. They save lives. And when they are not given, the impact can be devastating and far-reaching.
In recent years, huge progress has been made in improving the odds for these children, with child mortality halving from 12.6 million deaths a year in 1990 to 6.3 million today. Much of this has been achieved through improved access to vaccines.