Should my kids get vaccinated?

Should my kids get vaccinated?

In 2014, 644 U.S. residents were infected with the measles according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That’s more cases than the past four years combined. While measles are making a comeback, the debate on whether vaccinations cause autism has heated up in part due to celebrities speaking out on the topic.

In 2009, in an interview for Time magazine, Jenny McCarthy, one of the most vocal celebrities weighed in on the topic by stating, “if you ask a parent of an autistic child if they want the measles or autism, we will stand in line for the measles.”

Dr. Robert Citronberg, infectious disease specialist and director of the Division of Infectious Diseases at Advocate Lutheran General Hospital, in Park Ridge, Ill., has concerns regarding the idea that autism is linked to vaccinations.

“There is no scientific evidence supporting this connection,” says Dr. Citronberg. “The advent of vaccines is the single greatest public health accomplishment.”

Most people, including medical professionals, have never seen a live case of measles until recently. According to Dr. Citronberg, there is a huge misconception regarding the severity of this disease.

“We forget that this is not a mild childhood illness. This is a highly contagious, dangerous and life-threatening disease,” says Dr. Citronberg.”

One in 10 patients with measles will get pneumonia and one in 1,000 will suffer from encephalitis (irritation and swelling of the brain), which may cause permanent damage.”

Dr. Citronberg says he can’t imagine anyone with access to scientific information deciding not to vaccinate their children. Yet in the media, the debate will undoubtedly continue.

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About the Author

Mickey Ramirez
Mickey Ramirez

Mickey Ramirez, health enews contributor, is the director of Advocate Health Care's media center. He claims to not be a writer…but occasionally he learns information that is just too important to keep to himself. He enjoys kimchi, honesty and a room with a view. When he grows up, he wants to be Anthony Bourdain.