On yesterday’s show, we touched on a very complex and confusing subject that all parents are faced with — childhood vaccines. So many parents have questions about the safety of vaccines, yet nobody wants to go back to the days before vaccines, when thousands of children would die each year from these now preventable illnesses.
One of our guests was a mother whose child had been damaged by a vaccine, and unfortunately, there are many stories like hers. After the show, another mother came up to me from the audience and explained to me that her child had caught meningitis — a vaccine preventable disease — and suffered brain damage! She truly wished that her child had been vaccinated!
There really are many sides to this issue. As a pediatrician, I find it frustrating to try to fully educate parents in my office — there just isn’t enough time! As you saw on the show today, we discussed the issue for about the same length of time as a typical office visit, and we barely scratched the surface. For parents in my office that want to fully educate themselves about the risks and benefits of vaccines, I highly recommend The Vaccine Book, written by pediatrician Robert Sears (yes, he’s my brother!). This book will give you excellent information about each vaccine and the illness that it was designed to prevent. It explains how common each of these illnesses are and what the risks are of having a bad reaction from each of the vaccines.
If parents better understand the risks and benefits of vaccinating, they will be better prepared to discuss this subject with their doctor — and make the best decision for their child. The book also gives some suggestions that parents can use to make the whole vaccination process safer.
- Dr. Jim