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Why Immunizations Are Important, No Matter the Age

childhood immunizations

Dr. Meggan Goodpasture, a Wake Forest Baptist Health pediatrician who is an attending physician at the Downtown Health Plaza, shares insights into the importance of immunizations.

In this day and age, with all the publicity about immunizations and school requirements, are there people who are not aware?

We see kids all the time who are not up to date on their immunization vaccination schedule. Certain immunizations may be missed more than others. I certainly think it requires continued awareness.

You believe in the safety of vaccines, which in recent years have come under some questioning because of fears that they could cause forms of autism, which develops in the childhood years. You also know that studies have shown no link between vaccinations and autism spectrum disorders.

I would say there’s a large amount of misinformation and conflicting information online. I always recommend people to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) and AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics). They’re good resources. I think that helps.

So are immunizations as  crucial once the early childhood years are done?

People think of kids as being done with immunizations when they enter school. They certainly aren’t.

How do you answer people who say ‘I never get sick’ and therefore question the need for a flu shot, which is not one of the required immunizations?

Even a healthy child can become sick with influenza, and influenza can lead to death even if the child doesn’t have any other medical disorder. Immunizing adults and children in the community helps protect those in the community too young (to get a flu vaccine) and those who can’t get a vaccine. So immunizing the community also helps to protect others. 

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Last Updated: 05-21-2016
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