Millions of parents immunize their children each year, but others still have doubts, because of misinformation and misconceptions. It is very important for you to know the truth about vaccines. Your child’s life depends on it. One of our pediatricians, Dr. Christian Cornejo, shares some important facts about immunization.
Fact #1: Not vaccinating your child puts them in danger.
An unvaccinated child is at higher risk of developing diseases that once maimed or killed thousands of children in the past. One example of the great impact vaccines have had is the elimination of polio in the United States. Polio was once America’s most feared disease, causing death and paralysis across the country. But today, thanks to vaccination, no cases of polio have originated in the United States since the 1970s.
Fact #2: Vaccinations DO NOT cause autism.
Claims that vaccines are linked to autism or are unsafe when administered according to the recommended schedule have been disproven by a robust body of medical literature. It is dangerous to public health to suggest otherwise. Vaccines are one of the safest, most effective and most important medical innovations of our time. Pediatricians partner with parents to provide what is best for their child — to be fully immunized.
Fact #3: Vaccinations should follow a schedule.
At Mary’s Center, we follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) scheduling recommendations. These schedules indicate the recommended ages for routine administration of the currently licensed childhood vaccines. This schedule has been approved by many organizations, such as the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), and the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP).
During the first 2 years of life, our pediatric patients get immunized every 2 to 3 months. After 2 years of age, children don’t require additional routine vaccines until they are 4 years old, and then, again, when they turn 11.
Fact #4: Vaccinations are not expensive.
We encourage our patients to be vaccinated in our clinics. The majority of routine pediatric vaccines are covered by health insurance or by the Vaccine for Children (VFC) program, a federally-funded program that provides vaccines at no cost to children who might not otherwise be vaccinated due to inability to pay. You can also get your vaccines at your local health department, and recently, some pharmacies have started offering routine vaccines. We feel it is best for our patients to receive their vaccines in our clinics with their pediatrician because this allows us to keep track of the vaccinations already received and know what vaccines are still needed.
Fact #5: The temporary discomfort caused by the injection is worth it.
Vaccines may cause some discomfort, redness, or tenderness at the site of injection, but this temporary discomfort is minimal compared to the pain and trauma of the diseases these vaccines prevent.
Please remember that our highly-qualified medical providers are here to guide you and your family on the path to good health. To make an appointment for vaccinations or other medical, dental, behavioral health and nutrition services please call 1-844-796-2797 or request an appointment online.
About Dr. Christian Cornejo, MD, FAAP
Dr. Cornejo is a board certified pediatrician. He is also the Senior Administrative Medical Director at Mary’s Center and the Medical Director at our location in Silver Spring, MD. Dr. Cornejo attended medical school at Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia and completed his residency at the University of Tennessee, College of Medicine in Chattanooga. He has been a member of the Mary’s Center team since November 2009 and speaks English and Spanish. Dr. Cornejo enjoys mountain biking, painting and traveling with his wife.