Friday, August 10, 2012

Give Every Child a Chance

Every 20 seconds a child dies somewhere in the world of a disease that can be prevented by a vaccine.

Pediatric Health Associates is trying to raise awareness for the World Health Organization about childhood immunizations. There are still many areas of the world where children still contract conditions such as measles, chickenpox, pertussis and pneumonia. In fact, people flying to/from those parts of the world may have been exposed to these illnesses and bring them back home to the U.S. Currently there is a pertussis (whooping cough) outbreak going on in several states and you have heard of several stories over the years of college students in one area having the measles.

While the majority of our children are immunized in this country, there still remain many who have not received their vaccines. For some it may be concerns over autism (which the researcher who indicated autism was caused by vaccines actually falsified the results!), some for religious beliefs, some because of the cost and others perhaps feel that they don’t have to worry about their kids getting them because the probably won’t be exposed.

Let’s address these concerns:

Autism---the research was debunked.

Religious Beliefs---this is a deeply personal conviction and while we don’t

   necessarily agree with it, we respect it.

Cost---most children in Illinois have insurance that covers vaccines and

   for those who don’t the health department can provide the vaccines for an

   extremely low price (around $10).

Diseases are under control in this country---YES! Because of children

   being vaccinated! BUT as we have seen in unimmunized populations,

   outbreaks of pertussis are currently in the news and measles pops up in the

   news almost every year.

We cannot afford to be lax about immunizations because of the low prevalence of outbreaks. Doing so will eventually bring these back into the population in epidemic proportions.

Think it doesn’t happen here in Naperville? Think again! We have seen here at PHA several cases of chickenpox and pertussis this year. Many cases were in children who did not travel out of the country but were exposed by someone who came into our country—could have been a total stranger who happened to sneeze or cough when you passed by.

The World Health Organization (WHO) not only wants to raise awareness of outbreaks here in this country but worldwide. For those in third world countries, children still die every day from preventable diseases. It seems so very far away but as a parent we ask you to walk in their shoes for just a moment and think how you would feel if it was your child who was dying from something that could have been prevented?

WHO asks that you consider making a donation to their “ShotatLife” initiative to provide immunizations for children living in third world countries. Did you know that just $1 will protect a child from measles? $5 covers both measles and polio! Can you even believe polio is still around? Who knows….the shot you provide might just prevent children here from catching a disease. You can make a donation online at

Help decrease the number of vaccine preventable deaths in developing countries by nearly 2 million lives and reduce the risk of global outbreaks coming to the U.S.

Picture provided by the CDC.

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