All parents of infants, toddlers and young children should be required to read an essay in the Huffington Post by pediatrician Dr. Kristie Rivers. And if those parents are considering not vaccinating their kids, they should be required to read it twice. In her post, Dr. Rivers describes three scenarios she witnessed in which unvaccinated young children were admitted to the hospital with vaccine-preventable diseases.
These included a 3 year-old with a potentially life-threatening bacterial infection of the airway (caused by the bacterium H. influenza unrelated to the viral influenza), a 10 week-old baby with whooping cough (pertussis), and a 2 year-old with streptococcal pneumonia. This last child died of his disease. Dr. Rivers pointed out that not only were all three children at risk of death, but they also suffered horribly and, it must be said, needlessly.
ACSH s Dr. Elizabeth Whelan commented Vaccines are one of the great public health triumphs of our times, and it is tragic that parents are avoiding them because of faulty logic and fear-mongering.
For sound, science-based information about vaccines, read ACSH s publicationThe Promise of Vaccines: The Science and the Controversy.