Thursday, October 13, 2011

Vaccine rates are dropping

Do you have fewer fears about the side effects of immunizations now than you did five years ago? I know I do. I don't think it's an all or nothing. Some vaccinations you need, others you can get if you want to. Some may be safer than others. There is no blanket statement. I think that's how the problem started. I know I heard a lot more about people skipping their child's vaccinations five years ago than I do today. However, it seems the rates are still down today.

FROM NBC: Vaccine rates for kids are dropping amid parental concerns over vaccine safety. Many health experts attribute vaccine worries to misinformation and warn disregarding vaccines could adversely affect everyone's health. An NBC reporter talked a Florida couple who are still struggling with this issue.

Jennifer and Brian Cohen concede they're overly-involved parents. but when their twins survived a complex birth they were wary of any perceived risks, including vaccinations. Jennifer Cohen/Concerned About Vaccines: "I was more afraid of the potential consequences from some of the vaccine and all of what is in the vaccine than i am of the original disease." The Cohens are like so many other parents - despite mountains of scientific evidence - remain skeptical of vaccines."

For example, immunization of kindergartners in Miami-Dade is dropping from roughly 95% in 2006 to 79% last year. Broward only slightly better. And now public health officials are alarmed at what they believe is a spike in disease rates and death rates from preventable illnesses.

The Centers for Disease Control found that among distrustful parents, 27% say too many shots recommended, 26% are unsure vaccines work, 25% might cause autism and 24% have possible side effects.

The Cohens delayed some vaccines, rejected others outright. Brian Cohen/Concerned About Vaccines: "And again going back to the mountains of evidence, they've gone from inconclusive its conclusive. And they've reversed studies."
Public health experts say a lower vaccination rate raises the infection rate for everyone and puts other kids at risk.

Measles, mumps, chicken pox, rubella, the flu. a distrust largely fueled, they say, by misinformation. In the end, the Cohens are doing their best.

-NewsAnchorMom Jen

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