Vaccines: Know the Basics to Protect Your Kids

Premier Health Now

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Whether it's the flu or a return to school, the topic of vaccinations always seem to be in season.

The latest debate comes from the news that an 18-year-old from Norwalk, Ohio, got vaccinated after doing his own research — and against his mother’s wishes.

There are some key things to remember about vaccines and kids’ health. To learn more, Premier Health Now talked with Joseph Allen, MD, of Premier Health Family Care of Vandalia.

“Vaccines are important,” says Dr. Allen. “They provide us with protection against diseases that we have seen over the course of human history can be pretty devastating.” 

Those illnesses include the measles, mumps, the flu, and even chicken pox. Whether to vaccinate your child is a decision for parents to make, Dr. Allen says, adding that parents need to understand the risks of not getting those preventive shots.

“Kids who are not vaccinated are more vulnerable,” Dr. Allen says, and they can get sick while other children who do get vaccinated will not. 

While most parents follow national guidelines, for childhood immunizations, some do have concerns. Seventeen states allow parents to let their child opt out of vaccines for religious or philosophical reasons, and more states are considering anti-vaccination bills.

There are public health consequences when large groups of people do not get vaccinated. That can be seen today with measles outbreaks being reported in more than 10 states. Many parents refuse the measles and other vaccines because of a belief they are linked to autism — despite several studies that show otherwise.

If you have questions or concerns about a vaccine, talk with your doctor. Dr. Allen says parents should also consult multiple sources for information about vaccines before making a decision about getting immunizations.

It's easy to get the care you need.

See a Premier Physician Network provider near you.