The Importance of Immunization
Remember when mumps-infected Millicent kissed heroic Bobby Brady and it looked like the entire Brady Bunch would be quarantined? That's the closest a lot of us have come to the mumps. But to more than 4,000 people in the Midwest this past spring, TV Land reruns took on shades of reality television when this painful illness spread through Iowa and seven other states. And last year in Indiana, 33 church members came down with the measles, an unexpected gift from a teenage missionary returning from Romania.
Because diseases like these are still rare, it's easy to underestimate the importance of immunizations. But recent outbreaks prove that vaccines can be all that stand between your child and serious illnesses. "There are many unfounded rumors about vaccines," says Parents advisor Neal Halsey, MD, director of the Institute for Vaccine Safety at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. "Minor side effects are real. However, immunizations are essential for keeping all children healthy." Here's the latest info you must know.