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Vaccines: Common Concerns

I have recently encountered quite a few parents who have doubts about vaccinating their children, especially their little ones. With thousands of materials and opinions on the matter, that are out to frighten parents, who can blame them for questioning vaccines?

I’ve recently had a couple encounters with people who were not vaccinated:

  • I had a colleague, in medical school, who was born abroad, that come in contact with polio when he was a child. He has a limp and a speech impediment to this day. But, nowadays, due to vaccination, polio cases are extremely rare to find.

  • During the very beginning of my residency in the 1990's, I would see 2-3 cases of meningitis in the hospital every week, due to the Haemophilus influenzae. This could have been prevented if the children had been given their HIB vaccine when they had reached two months of age. Seeing the young children suffering at the hands of this disease was traumatizing, as a mother to be and as a doctor. I will never forget the little girl that we were unable to save; I will never forget how much I cried with the parents, the pain was unbearable. The only thing that made it worse was the fact that it could have been prevented. Luckily, not too far into the first year of my residency, giving the HIB vaccine to infants at ages 2-6 months was initiated. By the end of that academic year, I did not see any childhood meningitis due to Haemophilus influenzae, and it has become extremely rare today in the USA.

I, personally, vaccinated all my children on time because I trust in the medical advancements that we have made in this day and age. But I do respect the fact that there are parents who do not feel comfortable vaccinating their children. On one hand, I treat my patients with as much care as I would my own child, but more importantly, I like to make sure that the parents are always comfortable with how I treat their children. I am open to many other alternatives vaccines schedules such as Dr. Sears vaccine schedule, irrespective of the choices of mothers and fathers who are against giving any vaccines. After all, they are the responsible, caring and loving parents who want their children to be perfect and healthy adults, which is what I want as well.

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