April 21 to 28 is National Infant Immunization Week, an annual observance promoting the benefits of vaccinations for children from birth to 2 years old. With that recognition also reignites the debate over the importance of vaccinations.
Becky S. Carothers, M.D., pediatrician with Norton Children’s Medical Group – Broadway, said vaccinations are crucial for everyone.
“The vaccination schedule for children protects them from many different illnesses during infancy through adolescence,” Dr. Carothers said. “The purpose of vaccinations is to save lives, and they can do just that.”
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has stringently researched each vaccine and the schedule recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The CDC immunization schedule is designed to ensure safety while reducing the number of injections infants and children must receive.
Follow the medical evidence for safety
“I know that parents want the best for their children and want to be well-informed,” Dr. Carothers said. “The key when gathering information from others or online is to make sure it’s from a reputable source.”
According to Dr. Carothers, it all boils down to the evidence of medicine.
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“Vaccines have been researched and have prevented the deaths of children from illnesses such as measles, whooping cough and rotavirus for decades,” she said. “Simply put, immunizations work.”
And it’s acceptable for parents to ask their child’s health provider questions about vaccinations and other treatment plans associated with their child.
“We want parents to ask questions,” Dr. Carothers said. “We’re happy to provide them with information, resources and excellent care when it comes to the health of their child.”