In the past few decades several important vaccines were created which have greatly improved the health of our children. The older doctors in our group (we call ourselves the dinosaurs) use to spend a great deal of time treating children for life threatening and chronically disabling illnesses like measles, meningitis and others. Because of modern vaccines, these types of illnesses have almost been eradicated, but their threats persist.
In practice, a pediatric vaccine creates immunity in 70-90% of children. Children who do not respond to vaccines are sheltered by the immunity of others- the so-called herd effect. When protection dips below the 70% level, a booster shot is usually recommended. The herd effect prevents epidemics of illnesses like measles and chicken pox, but does not necessarily protect an individual who is directly exposed to an infection. If a parent refuses to immunize his child, he not only puts his child at risk, but also risks the health of other children in the community.
We believe that all the vaccines we use are very effective and safe. Any minor risk of vaccines is greatly outweighed by the protective effect of vaccines against potentially devastating illnesses.
We understand that parents are anxious about vaccines and there is a great deal of anti-vaccine buzz in unauthenticated internet sources. Careful medical studies performed over decade fail to show any correlation between vaccines and autism or other developmental problems.
Please let us know about your concerns. We are happy to spend time and talk about vaccines with you. Our goal is the same as yours – to raise happy and healthy children.