30 May Why We Vaccinate When Justin Timberlake Won’t
When it first came out that Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel weren’t going to vaccinate their baby, it got a lot of attention. That opened the door for other celebs to comment on vaccinations and whether or not they thought it was a good idea to vaccinate kids.
Well, here at Continuum Pediatrics, we vaccinate. Let me tell you why:
Some People Can’t Be Vaccinated for Health Reasons
I think there’s a common misconception that everyone can get vaccinated, and the only people who don’t get their immunizations either choose not to or just never get around to it. But that’s not the case. There are people out there who can’t get vaccinations, even if they wanted to, because of health conditions or age. Those people are especially susceptible to diseases and need to be aware of the risks of not being vaccinated.
Infants follow a strict vaccination schedule that was created by the CDC, or Centers for Disease Control. With this schedule, a baby will start to receive the vaccine to protect them from whooping cough once they turn two months old. They should receive their first flu vaccination at six months old. At one year old, they can get their first vaccine that will protect them against measles and mumps.
There are a number of vaccines that shouldn’t be administered to pregnant women, like the ones for shingles, human papillomavirus (HPV), and measles.
The people most at risk from not being immunized are unfortunately those most vulnerable. So those with weakened immune systems from either from autoimmune disorders or cancer treatments, like chemotherapy, sometimes have to delay vaccinations.
It’s Not about You
When celebrities or everyday Americans choose not to vaccinate, they feel that it is a personal choice and it doesn’t affect others. But it fact, it affects many innocent people every day and puts others at risk. Infants are at risk for whooping cough even if they have started being vaccinated. A teenager fighting cancer is vulnerable to catch pneumonia or meningitis when they are trying to attend school and live as normally as possible during chemotherapy. A pregnant woman that is young and healthy is especially susceptible to the flu while carrying her unborn child.
So while celebrities think they’re only sharing their personal opinions and nothing more, their opinions affect and influence others. Your opinions do, too. But we often don’t realize the consequences of these choices because they’re not always advertised well—it’s boring to read about the recent outbreaks of measles in Texas and across the country, and these topics don’t stay in our news headlines for long.
We might not be able to protect the people who can’t get vaccinated when they’re outside of our office, but we can protect them when they’re inside of our office. It’s a responsibility that we take very seriously.
For more information, visit healthychildren.org and cdc.gov. If you have questions or would like to discuss any concerns you have regarding your child, you can schedule an appointment with me, Dr. Kathryn Mandal, by calling 817-617-8600 or scheduling online at continuumtx.com.