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What could be worse than COVID19?

One if the most onerous aspects of the COVID19 pandemic is the disturbing report that, worldwide, tens of millions of children are not getting their required vaccinations.

I want to challenge people to review a little history. Look at the yellow fever epidemics of the late 1800’s. Look at the diphtheria epidemics of the early 1900’s. Look at the polio epidemics of the 1950’s or the decades of measles, rubella birth defects or childhood meningitis. Many of these germs, along with others I did not list, have killed far more people than COVID19. Some are far more contagious. Many still exist in some parts of the world and come into this country constantly with both legal and illegal immigrants.

Without routine childhood vaccinations, the US might struggle with pandemics every year! It is critical that children are vaccinated on time. Whether you receive your vaccines at the health department, school clinic, pharmacy or doctor’s office, we urge everyone to stay on the recommended schedule. Get your shots and keep your children protected!

One last thought: 

  1. Many vaccines are designed to work with the human immune system at a specific time. Vaccinations work best when given at the age which corresponds to when the disease would be most devastating to the child.
  2. There may also be an optimal age to boost the immunity. For instance, measles was once boosted 10 years after the first shot but there were still tons of measles cases in school kids. When the booster was moved to preschool, the disease almost disappeared. Booster timing seems to matter.
  3. Vaccines have been improved and purified over time to an incredible degree! While the development of vaccines was an amazing feat for early American scientists, these vaccines were much less specific than modern vaccines.For example, the first DPT shots did cure the diseases, but they had over 3000 proteins in them. Early scientists were not sure exactly which components of the vaccines were critical. Through research, scientists have now reduced the number of proteins in the DPT vaccine to just 6. Another great benefit of these advancements in vaccine research is that patients no longer need pain relief before receiving shots because almost no one gets a fever.

Discussions about “overloading” the immune system appear to be about two decades out of step with current research. It is never a good idea to rely on outdated or speculative science when it comes to you and your loved one’s health decisions. Don’t delay your shots if it can be avoided, especially not now.

Stay safe, be positive, love each other, and remember how great we all are together. We’ll get through this. We have certainly overcome worse!

Mark D. Statler, MD

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NB Pediatrics not only offers our children quality medical care and personalized attention to meet our children's needs, but they also provide parent education that extends beyond the office and helps in our homes.
L. Wuest, New Braunfels, TX