A Physician’s Perspective

21 Aug

As a parent who lost a child to a vaccine-preventable disease, I share my story as often as I can to help others learn about the importance of immunization. In my role as president of the National Meningitis Association, I also attend health and medical conferences to encourage healthcare professionals to take an active role in increasing adolescent vaccination efforts in their practices.

Often at these events, a physician, nurse or other healthcare professional will tell me that they saw a case of meningococcal disease as many as 20-30 years ago. They say the infection was so devastating that they will never forget how important it is to prevent it through vaccination. But they worry that, because meningococcal disease is rare, colleagues who have never seen a case will be less attentive to ensuring adolescent patients are vaccinated.

Recently, an article by Dr. Kristie Rivers reminded me of these stories. The routine childhood immunization program has become so successful in the U.S. that once common, deadly or disabling diseases are now so rare that healthcare professionals may have a hard time recognizing them. Unfortunately with the decline in parents who choose to fully vaccinate their children, these illnesses are making a resurgence—a change that Dr. Rivers has witnessed in her 10 years as a practicing pediatrician.

I hope you take a moment to read her perspective and share this informative article with any healthcare professionals that you know as well as parents. Together we can help make sure more all of our children get all of the protection available to them today.

3 Responses to “A Physician’s Perspective”

  1. Ron Butler August 21, 2014 at 9:04 pm #

    I grew up in the age of polio. The vaccine came out when I was in grade school but I still had a cousin who has polio that is a few years younger than me I caught bacterial meningitis in 2011 but until I caught it did not know anything about it. After research I found about the different kinds and the vaccines for different age groups. I lost my hearing in both ears and have balancing problems from that. Luckily I have a ear implant on my left side that has partially restored my hearing. When I visited my regular doctor I asked how many cases of meningitis he had dealt with and he said not many and I had a rare case. To me one case is too many. I think some re-thinking needs to looked at with meningitis and other diseases.

  2. Kristie Rivers August 22, 2014 at 1:46 am #

    Thank you so much for sharing my article. I am honored to be mentioned on your site. Hopefully this message about the dangers of not vaccinating will reach those parents who are on the fence about immunizing their children. -Dr. Kristie Rivers

    • Lynn October 31, 2014 at 12:09 am #

      You are welcome!

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