Page 1
Page 2
Page 3
Page 4
Page 5
Page 6
Page 7
Page 8
Page 9
Page 10
Page 11
Page 12
Page 13
Page 14
Page 15
Page 16
Page 17
Page 18
Page 19
Page 20
Page 21
Page 22
Page 23
Page 24
Page 25
Page 26
Page 27
Page 28
Page 29
Page 30
Page 31
Page 32
6 COMMUNIQU SUMMER 2015 You cant open a newspaper or a social media site today without seeing some story about vaccinations. As a pediatrician Im sure this topic is hotly debated in every clinic across the country where providers care for children. As a mother I have made the decision to vaccinate my own three children and as a provider I have encouraged other parents to do the same a question I frequently get asked by parents. Our dilemma as providers is to encourage families to do research on immunizations from trusted websites. Unfortunately there is a signicant amount of fear mongering and untruths being shared on the Internet from individuals with little or no medical background the Jenny McCarthys of the world. Most vaccine misconception originated from a provider named Dr. Andrew Wakeeld a British doctor who claimed there was a link between autism and the MMR measles mumps rubella vaccine. While this claim has been debunked and he has since acknowledged that this is not true the damage has been done. Globally doctors are ghting the information age. While WebMD and other sites help to educate our patients we are also encountering people who get untruths from the Internet which makes our job signicantly harder. This is no more evident than in the current repercussions of the anti-vaccination movement. I believe this will go down as one of the biggest public health disasters of my time. As providers we quash one misconception about vaccines only to see another one pop up. Take for instance vaccine ingredients. We are debating about thiomerisol in vaccinations and the other components of the vaccine being harmful. While the anti-vaccinators argue about the ingredients of the vaccine being detrimental to a child I ask this question what about the harm caused by the actual infection In a discussion with a family member about the u vaccine she told me she did not want to put anything harmful in her body. Interestingly her husband contracted inuenza and required steroids breathing treatments and Tamiu. I would argue that steroids have adverse effects and much more documented serious effects as compared to the u shot. I chose to get the u shot for myself. It sometimes feels like I am on the front lines of a losing war. My personal favorite is the opinion that I get a kickback off the vaccine industry. While I am trying to encourage what I believe to be the very most essential way to keep ones child healthy my ethics and character are being called in to play. Ironically most people do not know that pediatricians are the lowest-paid physicians in all spheres of medicine. We get no kickback from vaccine sales. We choose this profession because we love kids and want what is best for them. While we may be the lowest-paid physicians we also have the highest job satisfaction rate across medicine. We advocate vaccines for the simple reason that we know they can protect your child. That is it. Theres no secret agenda behind vaccinating your children. We just want them safe and healthy. Despite signicant medical research behind immunizations and long-term evidence promoting their safety and efcacy we are seeing record numbers of measles in this country today despite it being eradicated from the United States in 2000 a mere 15 years ago. The most important piece of information that is most often overlooked is our limitations in the vaccine schedule. MMR is timed to be given at 12 months of age. What happens to the six-month-old who travels with her family to Disneyworld and is now exposed to an incredibly infectious illness like the measles That baby is now at higher risk of complications from measles. Both that six-month- old and her parents now have no choice in illness. The decision was made for them by someone who did not vaccinate their child and subsequently put others at risk. This is the whole argument behind herd immunity. Of further concern is the child on chemotherapy. This child is also immune- compromised and at risk for illnesses exposed to himher by the general public who wish not to vaccinate. As a mother and as a pediatrician my job is to advocate for children my children and yours. There is nothing more tragic to me than caring for a child with a vaccine-preventable disease. In my time I have cared for children with whooping cough whose parents opted not to vaccinate and subsequently required ventilator support as well as children who contracted meningitis. Let me ask you what is more invasive an injection of Dtap or a tube being put down a four-month- olds airway to keep him breathing as he battles pertussis infection We will see a continued rise in these diseases if we continue to see vaccine refusals. It is as simple as that. There is a much smaller subset of individuals who CANNOT get vaccinated either due to allergy in the component of the vaccine or additional medical conditions that make vaccinating contraindicated. This population counts on herd immunity to keep them from being exposed to the very illnesses that they cannot get vaccinated against. This much smaller subset of population is not why we are seeing massive increases in vaccine- preventable diseases as evidenced by the populations currently getting infected. I urge families to talk with their doctors about vaccinations. Think about it this way would you get mechanical advice or plumbing advice from celebrities on the Internet Of course not you would take advice from someone trained in repairing your car or your pipes. Then let us reconsider taking advice from Jenny McCarthy about how to keep the most precious thing in your life healthy. Kimberly Mitcham prepares to administer a vaccine to a patient. FACULTY VOICE Kimberly Mitcham A PEDIATRICIANS VIEW ON VACCINES FEATURES