National Infant immunization Week — April 23-30
For Immediate Release: April 27, 2011
Media Contact: Communication Office
Vermont Department of Health
ST. ALBANS – Dr. Fred Holmes believes every parent he sees at his busy practice in St. Albans deserves an individual explanation about the importance of vaccinations and, if necessary, a conversation about what immunization offers a child.
“We encourage questions about the safety of vaccine,” Dr. Holmes said. “There should be an individual explanation. The relationship you have with each family is different, and that’s important.”
Mousetrap Pediatrics, an eight-physician practice covering northwestern Vermont, achieved a 94 percent vaccination rate for its 2-year-old patients. One reason for this is regular checks of patient records to see if the child’s vaccinations – all doses for all vaccines recommended for the age group – are up to date. Even if a child is brought in for a common ailment such as an ear infection, his or her vaccination record is part of the check-up.
Dr. Holmes strongly believes that it is important for families to share their concerns and voice their preferences about vaccination, and that it is not his role to tell them what to do. But parents should also understand that some of the diseases that can be prevented by vaccination can be “quite severe.”
“It should always be a conversation,” Dr. Holmes said.
Vaccines for young children now protect against 14 serious diseases: diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis (whooping cough), hepatitis B, polio, Hib (haemophilus influenzae type B), varicella (chickenpox), measles, mumps, rubella, pneumococcal disease, hepatitis A, rotovirus and influenza.
Vaccinate for Life is a statewide effort to provide the most accurate information about the importance and safety of vaccines, and to protect both children and adults from vaccine-preventable diseases. If you have questions about vaccinations, ask your health care provider, check the Vermont Department of Health’s website healthvermont.gov our new Facebook page ‘Healthy Vermont Families’, follow us on Twitter, or call our immunization program toll-free at 1-800-640-4374.