Childhood Vaccindation Debate Continues to Rage on as Measles Outbreak Spreads


 

Spanish speaking

As if this winter wasn’t bad enough, a recent measles outbreak which originated in Disneyland, has now infected at least 130 people across 17 different states, as well as Washington D.C., according to information released by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). One state it has yet to affect is Mississippi.

The Magnolia state is known for a lot of things, many of which are not very good. Besides having a name that is both fun to say and spell, Mississippi also has the country’s highest infant mortality rate and the second highest levels of childhood poverty.

However, Mississippi has given life and literal meaning to the term steel magnolias by being the leader in early childhood vaccinations, a fact which many people — including pediatric doctors — feel has protected the state from the measles outbreak.

Last year, it was reported that nearly all — 99.7% — of kindergarteners in Mississippi were listed as being “fully vaccinate” compared to just 85% in Pennsylvania and 92% percent in California, the origin of the measles outbreak.

The measles outbreak has garnered international attention, and has served as a platform for the continued debate regarding childhood vaccinations. While some parents feel vaccines are a preventative measure that can save lives, others feel the negative side effects — some of which have been linked to autism and chronic health conditions — simply aren’t worth the risk. These stances have created heated debates among parents and pediatric doctors in regards to parenting and health care.

Therefore a parent, finding a pediatrician who understands your stance on vaccination, whether you are for or against it, is of the utmost importance. When choosing a pediatrician, be sure to discuss any questions or concerns regarding vaccinations in detail.

There are a number of important questions to ask pediatricians prior to deciding if they’re right for you and your child. For information on pediatricians in your area, be sure to run a search or check with other parents for a first hand account of what their practice is like.

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