Looking at your child’s immunization schedule can be confusing to parents and some may question whether they are even necessary. Especially when controversies arise about vaccines and autism.

It made mom Rebecca Jones think twice.

“I did when that information originally came out, but I tend to be the kind of person that wants to double check and I learned quickly that that had been discredited.”

The study that made the claim was falsified, but parents may still have fears about the safety of immunizations. Dr. Nancy Witham suggests you sit down with your pediatrician.

“I think what people don’t understand is how much we as physicians also are concerned about possible reactions to vaccines, possible side effects from vaccines, possible links to other things such as autism.”

Vaccines are well tested before being put in public use. There’s also meticulous testing to ensure that shots given in a group are safe taken in combination.

“That piece of information should make it a little bit more comfortable to go through with the schedule as its been written out versus feeling like oh gosh I need to space them to be kinder to my child,” says Dr. Witham.

What is more serious, she tells parents, is to skip the shots and risk getting the illness.

“I think its important because the diseases are so dramatically disastrous for the children if they get the worst case scenario,” says Dr. Witham.

After millions of parents chose to forgo or delay the MMR vaccine, it showed up as an increase in related illnesses.

“Many of them are making resurgence we have cases of measles that have been national notified about,” says Dr. Witham.

So the best medicine is to understand the information and make an educated decision.

“I really believe in trusting your doctor and I do believe in immunizing so I didn’t have any trouble with following that information,” says Jones.

View More Health Matters video segments at leememorial.org/healthmatters/

Lee Memorial Health System in Fort Myers, FL is the largest network of medical care facilities in Southwest Florida and is highly respected for its expertise, innovation and quality of care. For nearly a century, we've been providing our community with everything from primary care treatment to highly specialized care services and robotic assisted surgeries.

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