Health Watch

Infant Immunization Week encourages parents to vaccinate their children

COLUMBUS, Ga (WRBL) - 'Should you vaccinate, or should you not?' is a question that arises in mom groups nationwide. 

"I've heard. I don't ever say anything because it's always a big debate. I don't say anything to them, I mean, I just always make sure mine is protected and that's all I have to worry about," says Nadine McCray. 

McCray says she believes in vaccinating her children.

Other parents say they weigh the risks.

"There are studies that believe there are risks, but the risks of the vaccinations don't outweigh the risk of things they are trying to prevent," says Miranda Huckabee. 

The Georgia Department of Public Health (GDPH) holds Infant Immunization Week to help parents make, what is now, another tough decision.

"Their infants need to have immunizations to protect them from the diseases that still exist, but we may not hear about," says Pamela Kirkland with GDPH.

Kirkland says vaccines for diseases like measles and pertussis are crucial.

"We've had a resurgence of some of these diseases in the last few years," says Kirkland. 

Kirkland says the global society we live in can contribute to cases of once eradicated diseases in the U.S. as citizens travel abroad to countries without proper healthcare, and citizens from foreign countries move the U.S.  She says that's even more reason to vaccinate your children.

The Center for Disease Control and American Academy of Pediatrics suggest infants be placed on a vaccination schedule and receive immunizations through six years old.

Kirkland says the vaccines are the best way to protect children.

"I think it protects them from outside illnesses, and, because it is recommended by my doctor," says Stephanie Richardson as to why she chose to vaccinate all three of her children.

Some children and adults may not be able to receive immunizations for medical reasons, and Kirkland says that's why those who can receive immunizations, should. 

"When your community is protected, that helps protect the individuals who may not be able to have vaccines," says Kirkland.

Some parents say they choose to do their own research and not vaccinate, or to vaccinate but on a delayed schedule. 

Parents who choose against vaccines say they opted out for various reasons.  Ingredient lists, religious reason, and vaccine related injuries are a few reasons given by parents who choose not to immunize their children.

GDPH offers vaccinations. Kirkland says they accept walk-ins Monday through Friday from 8:00-4:00 est. You can go to Columbushealth.com or call 706-321-6300 to learn more.


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