By Dr. Sharon Cowden, CCP–Pittsburgh Pediatrics; Dr. Mark Diamond, CCP–South Hills Pediatric Associates; and Dr. Mike Green, Infectious Diseases, Children’s Hospital
On June 27, the Pennsylvania State Senate took a step forward in supporting the health and well-being of all of Pennsylvania’s residents when it passed Senate Resolution 420 and recognized the month of August 2014 as National Immunization Awareness Month in Pennsylvania.
As physicians, we recognize the development of childhood vaccinations as one of the most significant scientific achievements in the 20th century. The development of immunizations wiped out smallpox and virtually eradicated polio too. Fewer people get sick with measles, mumps, and whooping cough nowadays — because of immunizations.
In order to keep these potentially dangerous diseases at bay, it’s important for children to have all their recommended vaccinations, on schedule. And adults, it’s important for you to get your booster shots when recommended, too. Because some people can’t be immunized — like newborn babies, people undergoing chemotherapy, and children taking steroids — it is all the more important for those of us who can be immunized, to do so. Immunization protects us all.
Five Reasons To Vaccinate Your Child
- Immunizations can save your child’s life.
- They are safe and effective. Your child may experience some discomfort from the shots, but the benefit — protection from disease — is much greater than the potential side effects in most cases.
- Immunizations protect others too. Because some children are too young to be vaccinated or have reasons that prevent them from doing so, it’s important that you and your children who can be vaccinated, get vaccinated.
- They can save you time and money.
- They protect future generations by drastically reducing or eliminating diseases that used to run unchecked through society.
Talk with your pediatrician or primary care physician if you have questions about the vaccines that are recommended for your children and you, or check out these trustworthy online resources: