Local doctors respond to ‘vaccine hesitancy’

6:22 AM, Feb 13, 2019
9:02 AM, Jun 12, 2019

According to the World Health Organization, ‘vaccine hesitancy’ was claimed as one of the top 10 threats to 2019.

With the recent measles outbreaks across the nation, the Center for Disease Control says most of these cases were people who were not vaccinated.

Surprisingly enough, the anti-vaccine movement has been around since the 1850’s, when the “Anti-Vaccination League” was created in the London. A movement that has carried over decades and is now becoming a stronger ideology.

However, the CDC says that because of vaccines, certain diseases such as polio and diphtheria are becoming rare in the U.S.

“The reason that we have such a healthy nation is because people got their vaccines,” says Dr. William Burgin, of the City-County Health Center. Burgin is concerned with the most recent measles outbreak, stating, “not only are people not getting protected but the result of not being protected is being manifested.”

His feelings coincide with Driscoll Children’s Hospital, Infectious Disease Doctor, Jaime Fergie, who believes, “this is a tragic situation, here in Corpus Christi we are much better off. I mean there are not that many people who do not vaccinate but unfortunately, tragically, that number is going up.”

Dr. Fergie says when people vaccinate they are not only protecting themselves but others around them. “There are children for example who are too young to receive a vaccine and they depend on the community being well protected. So that the child doesn’t get the illness before the age at which, he or she can get the vaccine.”

Meanwhile, the anti-vaccine movement is strongly adamant to their beliefs. But, one former doctor and current Wellness Coordinator at Bay Limited, John Sullivan, says questioning vaccines is not a bad thing.

“A lot of parents are starting to question some of the efficacy of using them, so they hesitate. And with any medication, you should. Because all medications have potential downsides.”

Dr. Sullivan believes vaccines and medications should be looked at on an individual basis. Sullivan says even the flu vaccine has a small percentage of actually working. That Tamiflu is not a healthy medication, but that it’s still a form of healthcare in doctor offices, so people should do more research on what medications and vaccines they take. He says there could be many reasons why someone does not vaccinate, and there could be layers of reasons for why the measles outbreak has spread so rapidly.

“Too often we’re doing this herd immunity thing, and we’re not cows, per-say,” says Sullivan. “So I think you need to sit down with your physician and have an open informed discussion and be an informed consumer.”

The CDC does recommend that everyone stays up to date on all vaccines throughout their lifetime.

For more information on vaccines, side effects and vaccine ingredients, you can find that here.

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