By THOMAS P. CALDWELL
LACONIA DAILY SUN
In the wake of a discredited study suggesting a number of previously unidentified side effects from vaccinations and President Donald Trump’s efforts to establish a commission to look into a possible connection between vaccinations and autism, LRGHealthcare’s chief medical officer, Dr. Peter Doane, continued to support inoculation.
“Though it is ultimately the parents’ decision, providers associated with LRGHealthcare strongly support the ongoing recommended vaccination schedule for children,” he said.
Huggins Hospital’s chief medical officer, Dr. John Boornazian, agreed.
“It is extremely important for people of all ages to stay up-to-date with their vaccinations,” he said. “Vaccines are critical, especially for children, in preventing serious diseases. They also can save the life of someone with a chronic disease or weakened immune system because these people are more at risk from those serious diseases.
“Furthermore, many vaccine-preventable diseases can be contagious, and protecting yourself means you are able to protect your loved ones and your entire community.”
No credible study has established any link between vaccinations and autism, but Trump has suggested forming a commission to look into the issue, asking Robert F. Kennedy Jr., who shares a similar suspicion of vaccines, to lead the group.
Dr. Boornazian urged caution in researching information about vaccines and health in general, saying, “Always look to a trusted source such as the Centers for Disease Control, or talk with your health care provider.”
The Centers for Disease Control, which developed the recommendations that doctors rely upon, cites “the proven record of success” in preventing diseases.
“Every year, tens of thousands of Americans get sick from diseases that could be prevented by vaccines — some people are hospitalized, some even die. Immunization is our best protection against these diseases,” the CDC states.
“Vaccination is a critical step in protecting those that are most vulnerable to illness: infants and young children, the elderly, and those with chronic conditions and weakened immune systems.”
The CDC website offers information for those with questions about immunization, noting that the material is researched, written, and approved by experts who include physicians, epidemiologists, and analysts. “Content is peer-reviewed science,” the agency states, noting that the information is updated annually.
While vaccines have greatly reduced the diseases that previously harmed or killed people, the germs that cause those diseases still exist and can infect those who are not inoculated. Although measles was declared to be eliminated in the United States in 2000, it is common in other countries, and unvaccinated travelers can contract the disease and bring it back to the U.S.
For those concerned about the safety of vaccines, the CDC points out that they go through years of testing to make sure they are safe and effective before gaining approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The FDA inspects the sites where the vaccines are made to make sure they follow the strict guidelines the government sets.
Most side effects are mild, such as soreness where the shot is administered or a mild fever, and they go away within a few days. The CDC website offers a list of possible side effects from each of the recommended vaccines, ranging from mild problems to more serious ones.
For example, the adenovirus vaccine, used to prevent potentially serious respiratory infections, can cause headaches and upper respiratory tract infection, stuffy nose, sore throat, joint pain, abdominal pain, nausea, diarrhea, and fever, with serious problems including blood in the urine or stool, pneumonia, and inflammation of the stomach or intestines.
“It is not clear whether these mild or serious problems were caused by the vaccine or occurred after vaccination by chance,” the website states.
New Hampshire requires children attending public schools to have up-to-date vaccinations or documentation of an appointment to receive the vaccine, with religious exemptions allowed. Also exempt are students with a physician’s letter certifying that a particular immunization may be detrimental to the child’s health.
There are no state rules requiring the immunization of home-schooled children, but a school board may adopt a policy requiring vaccinations of home-schooled children participating in curricular courses or co-curricular programs at the public school.
“Vaccination is important because it not only protects the person who gets the vaccine, but also helps to keep diseases from spreading to others, like family members, neighbors, classmates, and other members of your communities,” the CDC states.
- Written by Tom Caldwell
- Category: Health and Wellness
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