There is a renewed focus on the need for vaccines following the recent measles outbreak linked to Disneyland. Pinar Keskinocak and Julie Swann, co-directors of the Center for Health and Humanitarian Systems at Georgia Tech, stress the need for parents to vaccinate their children. The center co-created a tool to help parents and physicians schedule catch-up vaccinations.
What if there were a way to save millions of lives, prevent hundreds of thousands of people from suffering paralysis or other maladies and reduce pain and suffering all with minimal cost or impact?
Vaccines are this medical magic bullet, enabling the body to develop immunity against infectious diseases, which often have no specific treatment or can be fatal.
However, despite years of research and practical evidence supporting the benefits of vaccines, there are still some skeptics who refuse to vaccinate themselves or their children.
The negative impact of foregoing vaccination is not only on the unvaccinated person, but also on the vulnerable population such as young babies or those who cannot get vaccinated due to medical conditions such as cancer or immunosuppressed diseases.
In the United States, we are lucky to have wide access to safe, affordable vaccines, a luxury for many populations in other parts of the world. We must take advantage of this as much as possible by getting children the vaccines they need, on the schedule recommended by doctors and scientists.
We also must focus on investing worldwide in making vaccines available for children to prevent millions of lives and reduce suffering.
It’s not too late for children who missed their timely vaccinations.
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