Every year at this time health officials across Pennsylvania and the country try to convince parents to get their children vaccinated. During this National Infant Immunization Week, the Pennsylvania Health Department is urging parents to protect their children by getting them immunized. Health Secretary Everette James says several vaccine-preventable diseases are on the rise. In 2009, 439 pertussis cases were reported, up from 342 in 2004. There were 11 cases of mumps, up from four cases and 13 measles cases were reported up from zero during the same five-year span. James says vaccines are a cost-effective public tool....
"They not only prevent disease in people who receive them, but also protect those who come in contact with unvaccinated individuals including those who are too young to be vaccinated or individuals who cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons.”
Heather Stafford is the Director of Immunizations for the Health Department. She says as of the 2008 survey, 77% of children in the state had their appropriate vaccinations by 35 months of age. She says parents should talk with their health care provider to ensure infants are up-to-date on their immunizations and an immunization schedule is available on their web site.
However, some parents believe that the immunizations themselves carry some risk.