Posts Tagged ‘ vaccination ’

A New Poll Shows How Parents Feel About Vaccines Now

Thursday, July 9th, 2015

Girl getting vaccineIf there’s anything positive to come from the recent outbreaks of measles and whooping cough, it may be this: More American parents now view childhood vaccinations as being safe and beneficial, according to the findings of a new poll.

According to a recent C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital poll, conducted in May, 25 percent of participants responded that their “confidence in vaccine safety has increased” in the last year, and 34 percent believe being vaccinated is more beneficial than they previously thought. (Just 7 percent and 5 percent, respectively, now believe vaccines are less safe and less beneficial than they did a year ago.)

The poll also found that 40 percent of parents believe their children are at a higher risk of contracting these diseases than a year ago. And 35 percent of parents are now more supportive of vaccination requirements at daycares and schools.

Related: Should Schools Ban Unvaccinated Kids?

Experts believe the shift in opinions is due to the numerous measles and whooping cough outbreaks that have made news across the country over the past year, as well as efforts by health professionals to increase knowledge about the benefits of vaccines.

Related: California Outlaws Personal and Religious Beliefs as Valid Vaccination Exemption

Caitlin St John is an Editorial Assistant for Parents.com who splits her time between New York City and her hometown on Long Island. Follow her on Twitter: @CAITYstjohn.

The Vaccine Schedule
The Vaccine Schedule
The Vaccine Schedule

Image: Mom with daughter receiving vaccine via Shutterstock

Add a Comment

California May Outlaw Personal and Religious Beliefs as Valid Vaccination Exemption

Friday, June 26th, 2015

Vaccine in vial

UPDATE: On June 30th, Gov. Jerry Brown signed this bill into law. California is now the largest state to require all schoolchildren to be vaccinated (unless they are exempt for medical reasons).

Although the California measles outbreak is no longer making daily headlines, the government has still been working diligently to prevent an outbreak like this from ever happening again.

Yesterday, the California House successfully approved a proposal—46 to 30—that would deem a family’s personal and religious beliefs as an illegal reason to exempt children from mandatory school vaccinations. If the Senate approves the proposal’s amendments it will advance to Gov. Jerry Brown in order to gain final approval.

If made into law, California would be the 33rd state to outlaw families from opting out of mandatory vaccines due to their belief system. The only exception to the law would happen when the State Department of Public Health deemed a medical exemption appropriate.

“California parents will be forced to give their children more than 40 doses of 10 federally recommended vaccines or homeschool unless they can find a doctor to write a medical exemption that doctors deny to 99.99 percent of children under federal guidelines,” said one oppositional group, Californians for Vaccine Choice.

Aside from traditional homeschooling, parents who decide against vaccination could also participate in multifamily homeschool programs or use public school’s independent study option.

“Children, pregnant women, seniors and people with cancer, organ transplants and other conditions are counting on us to make sure science prevails,” said California Senator Richard Pan, a pediatrician who co-introduced the proposal.

Caitlin St John is an Editorial Assistant for Parents.com who splits her time between New York City and her hometown on Long Island. Follow her on Twitter: @CAITYstjohn.

The Vaccine Schedule
The Vaccine Schedule
The Vaccine Schedule

Image: Vaccine vial via Shutterstock

Add a Comment

California May Ban Certain Vaccine Exemptions

Tuesday, February 10th, 2015

doctor giving vaccineNow that there are more than 120 confirmed cases of measles—92 within the state of California—two California senators are working toward banning parents’ right to exempt their children from mandatory school vaccinations because of personal beliefs, reports Reuters.

These lawmakers are answering the pleas of many families—including that of Rhett Krawitt’s, a 6-year-old boy unable to receive vaccines for medical reasons—who want to keep their children healthy.

“The high number of unvaccinated students is jeopardizing public health not only in schools but in the broader community,” said state Senator Ben Allen, who is co-sponsoring the legislation with fellow Senator Richard Pan. “We need to take steps to keep our schools safe and our students healthy.”

If this legislation is passed, California will become the 33rd state to revoke parents’ right to not vaccinate their child.

For more related information on vaccines:

Caitlin St John is an Editorial Assistant for Parents.com who splits her time between New York City and her hometown on Long Island. She’s a self-proclaimed foodie who loves dancing and anything to do with her baby nephew. Follow her on Twitter: @CAITYstjohn

Vaccines for Babies and Older Kids
Vaccines for Babies and Older Kids
Vaccines for Babies and Older Kids

Image: Doctor vaccinating baby via Shutterstock

Add a Comment

Should Schools Ban Unvaccinated Kids?

Friday, January 30th, 2015

forbid children signOne family’s story might give you a different and more personal perspective on a continually debated issue: vaccines.

For the past four and a half years, Carl Krawitt and his wife, Jodi, have had to do something that no parent ever wants to do—watch their 6-year-old son, Rhett, battle leukemia. And after finishing numerous rounds of chemotherapy treatment, doctors say Rhett is in remission.

But now another battle has begun— the battle to keep Rhett as healthy as possible, despite being unvaccinated. Rhett cannot be vaccinated until his immune system is strong enough, which could take months. And if Rhett contracts a disease, he is at a higher risk for complications and even death.

While Rhett can rely on the power of herd immunity, it’s not guaranteed when he lives in Marin County, California, which has the highest rate of children in the Bay Area who have been opted out of immunizations. In fact, Rhett’s elementary school has a 7 percent personal belief exemption rate, which is nearly three times more than the statewide average.

In light of the current measles’ outbreak on the west coast, Carl is speaking up for his son — by requesting that his elementary school bans all unvaccinated students, except for those who, like his son, cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons. “It’s very emotional for me,” he told NPR. “If you choose not to immunize your own child and your own child dies because they get measles, OK, that’s your responsibility, that’s your choice. But if your child gets sick and gets my child sick and my child dies, then…your action has harmed my child.”

And Rhett is not alone in having a weakened immune system. According to oncologist Dr. Robert Goldsby, “there are hundreds of other kids in the Bay Area who are going through cancer therapy, and it’s not fair to them.”

However, at this time, Marin County doesn’t have any confirmed or suspected cases of measles, so no immediate action can be made without approval from county health officers. However, “if the outbreak progresses and we start seeing more and more cases, then this is a step we might want to consider,” said Matt Willis, Marin County’s health officer.

We want to hear from you—let us know what you think! Is Carl Krawitt’s request to ban students fair? Or do you think it goes too far?

Caitlin St John is an Editorial Assistant for Parents.com who splits her time between New York City and her hometown on Long Island. She’s a self-proclaimed foodie who loves dancing and anything to do with her baby nephew. Follow her on Twitter: @CAITYstjohn

More About Measles

Vaccines for Babies and Older Kids
Vaccines for Babies and Older Kids
Vaccines for Babies and Older Kids

Image: Forbid children sign via Shutterstock

Add a Comment

Vaccinating Kids Against Rotavirus Reduces Infection

Wednesday, January 14th, 2015

baby getting rotavirus vaccine

Update (1/16/14): Our readers have pointed out that the original stock photo (which showed a needle vaccine) did not illustrate the rotavirus vaccine (which is taken orally) properly. We apologize for the error and confusion; the photo has been updated.

It’s no secret that vaccines are a hot-button topic for may parents, with many either for or against. But the latest research on vaccinations, specifically the rotavirus vaccine (which was only created in 2006), provides a good reason for parents to visit the pediatrician’s office.

Researchers at the Texas Children’s Hospital revealed in a new study that kids who did not receive the rotavirus vaccine were three times more likely to be infected by the virus. According to the Centers for Disease Control, the rotavirus is contagious and the leading cause of gastroenteritis (also know as the stomach flu) in babies and young children. The stomach and intestines become inflamed, which lead to symptoms of abdominal pain, diarrhea, and vomiting.

The study focused on young patients for over two years at the hospital and determined their rotavirus coverage, the highest being over 80 percent and the lowest being under 40 percent. Of those patients, only 10 percent in the high-coverage group contracted the rotavirus versus 31 percent in the low-coverage group. “This shows that there is an association between not being vaccinated and getting the disease,” said lead researcher Leila Sahni.

The rotavirus vaccine is only given orally, and babies must receive three doses in their first year. The study was funded by the CDC and published in Pediatrics, though this is not the first time the CDC has been involved in rotavirus research. Last year, the CDC also released a report that the rotavirus could cause “a small risk of a dangerous intestinal blockage,” but the benefits of the vaccine (including reduced children’s healthcare costs) outweighed the minimal issue.

Learn more about the rotavirus vaccine and the stomach flu. And make sure to print this free vaccine schedule for babies and toddlers and the one for preschoolers and older kids.

Sherry Huang is a Features Editor for Parents.com who covers baby-related content. She loves collecting children’s picture books and has an undeniable love for cookies of all kinds. Her spirit animal would be Beyoncé Pad Thai. Follow her on Twitter @sherendipitea

Vaccines for Babies and Older Kids
Vaccines for Babies and Older Kids
Vaccines for Babies and Older Kids

Image: Nurse giving baby Rotavirus vaccinevia Shutterstock

Add a Comment