What Would Abraham Lincoln Think About Vaccinations?

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“The problem with quotes on the Internet is that it is hard to verify their authenticity.” – Abraham Lincoln.

Yes, it’s funny – until you consider the ramifications of “I read it on the Internet, so it must be true” within our real lives and our larger global community. With anti-vaxxers throwing out misinformation, twisted statistics, debunked “studies” and outright lies about protecting our children, it can be agonizing for parents who want to do the best thing for their family’s health.

Here at Alzein Pediatric Associates, we want all our families to understanding the evidence-based science, medicine and comprehensive studies behind vaccinations is vital to making the right decision

How do vaccines actually work?

Quite simply, a vaccine is a weakened form of the bacteria or virus that causes a disease. When it’s injected into your child, her immune system detects this as an infection and creates the specific antibodies needed to fight it. Those antibodies remain in your child, ready to recognize and fight that infection when it occurs again. Some vaccines work for a lifetime and some require boosters. The flu virus changes enough each year to make annual vaccines necessary; the old antibodies will not be effective to defeat the new germs.

When did all this controversy about vaccines start?

Actually, there have been anti-vaxxers as long as there have been vaccines! As far back as the early 1800’s when the smallpox vaccination became common, there has been distrust and fear surrounding the injection of “foreign substances” into the body. It took over 200 years of education and aggressive immunization for the deadly and highly contagious smallpox to be eliminated; the last case occurred in 1977.

Is there any link between MMR vaccines and autism?

No. Absolutely not. The 1998 article that promoted a link was declared a fraud. The publication fully retracted the article, the author was found to have broken numerous ethical codes and had many conflicts of interest, resulting in him being struck from the Medical Register. This prompted many independent studies and evidence reviews, including those by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Institute of Medicine of the U.S. National Academy of Science, the UK National Health Service and others. All these studies and reviews concluded that there is NO LINK between MMR (Measles Mumps Rubella) vaccines and autism.

In fact, a 2011 article described this falsehood as “perhaps the most damaging medical hoax of the last 100 years.”

Does DTaP cause SIDS?

No. The first dose of DTaP (Diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis) is scheduled at the same time of life that the risk of SIDS is the greatest, about 2 months old. Numerous studies dating back decades show that SIDS cases have not increased with DTaP and that the number of deaths has remained equal to that which would be expected. There is no evidence to support this link.

Prevent SIDS by putting your child on her back to sleep, on a firm mattress covered with a tightly fitted sheet. Dress her in a cooler, comfortable sleeper and remove all blankets, pillows, bumpers, pads or toys. Place her crib in your bedroom for the first six months to a year, but do not place your baby in your bed with you or any other person. Do not allow anyone to smoke near your baby.

My child is healthy. Why should he get the flu shot or chicken pox vaccine?

Many parents believe that only the child being vaccinated is protected by the vaccine. They see chicken pox and other illnesses as mild irritants that are easily, though inconveniently, recovered from. In truth, each vaccination contributes to “herd immunity”, which means that vaccinating a healthy child protects more fragile members of our global community.

The Disneyland measles outbreak perfectly illustrates that. The majority of those who were diagnosed with measles in January 2015 were unvaccinated or not completely vaccinated. Of the 49 patients completely unvaccinated, 12 were infants too young to get the vaccination – and at the age where measles is most life-threatening. The remaining were unvaccinated by choice.

The measles, the flu, chicken pox and other preventable illnesses can be fatal to our infants, our elderly and the medically-fragile neighbors among us, the ones with auto-immune conditions that make vaccination impossible. When you vaccinate your healthy child, you are helping to protect every person he comes in contact with for the rest of his life.

I still have some questions. 

That’s why we’re here! Call us now at 708-424-7600 or click here to make an appointment. Your medical professionals at Alzein Pediatric Associates want you to be fully informed when you make the decision to follow the American Academy of Pediatric’s vaccination scheduling.