By Kenneth Thomas, MD – Chief Medical Officer, Pediatrician
Pediatricians often encounter parents who object to immunizations – often based on anecdotal information that vaccines are unsafe or fears that they will cause other health problems.
I want to address those objections with facts, confirm that the vaccines we offer have been tested extensively, and express our confidence in the practice of providing routine vaccinations.
There is always a risk of side effects after vaccination (as with any medication). The most common side effects are tenderness at the injection site and low-grade fever – these are considered a positive sign that the body is reacting to the vaccine. Severe reactions are possible but very rare.
Every Child by Two (ECBT), a non-profit organization that advocates for immunizations, expresses our confidence:
“ECBT is confident in the safety of vaccines because of the elaborate systems in place to license safe vaccines and continually monitor their safety post-licensure. As vaccines are given to otherwise healthy people, they are held to the highest safety standards, requiring more rigorous testing than most medications. It can take 15 or more years and an average of $800 million dollars to thoroughly test a new vaccine before it is licensed by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) and made available to the public.”
Want to learn more about the process of developing, licensing and monitoring vaccines? Here is a link to an infographic created by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), called The Journey of Your Child’s Vaccine.
There are many excellent websites that have information about vaccine safety – here are some I share with patients:
- American Academy of Pediatrics
- Every Child by Two
- Immunization Action Coalition
- National Network for Immunization Information
- Institute of Medicine
- Vaccine Education Center at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
During the past 50 years, immunization has saved more than a billion lives and prevented countless illnesses and disabilities in the United States. Vaccine-preventable diseases, such as measles, mumps, and whooping cough, are still a threat. They continue to infect U.S. children, resulting in hospitalizations and deaths every year.
Here at SHS, we know vaccines are safe and important protections against disease. It is our desire that the children of this community are as safe and healthy as possible. If you have other questions, let’s talk.
Please bring your children for regular physical and Well-Child exams. Call 816-923-5800 to schedule an appointment.
Have other questions about vaccines? Leave your question in the comment box below or come visit the SHS pediatric clinic.