Dr. Campbell: Immunizations and back to school


RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – It’s back to school time in North Carolina and it is very important that all parents get their children the proper vaccinations.

In most cases, children will be refused admission to both public and private schools (including preschools) without proper immunizations.

During the early years of life, children need vaccines to protect them from more than 14 diseases that can be serious and potentially life-threatening. When parents choose not to vaccinate their children they increase the risk of disease not only for their own children, but also for other children and adults throughout the entire community.

Outbreaks can still occur as we have seen in N.C. with measles and other completely preventable diseases throughout the United States.

Immunizations are given in order to stimulate our body’s immune system.  Immunizations are most often dead (attenuated) pieces of a particular virus or bacteria that is known to cause a particular disease. In some cases a live organism is used in very small concentrations.  These injections cause our immune systems to produce antibodies to the disease-these antibodies then give us protection from a particular disease such as the measles.  Most immunizations require a “booster shot” later in order to ensure continued immunity.

All children must be immunized and must present a certificate of immunization to the school prior to enrollment. While there are exemptions-either medical or religious-these are strictly controlled and are not recommended.  When a child is not immunized they put themselves and those around them at risk. Outbreaks of diseases such as measles and whooping cough in the U.S. in the last 10 years have all been associated with clusters of parents who chose not to have their kids immunized.

There are years of scientific data that supports the safety of vaccines. There is no data to suggest an association between autism and vaccines. This is simply a myth. Common side effects of vaccines include:  fever, soreness at injection site, redness at injection site, fatigue, headache and joint pain. In rare cases more severe allergic reactions can occur.

The bottom line: Please get your children vaccinated.  You can find North Carolina’s vaccination requirements at the following website: http://www.immunize.nc.gov/schools/k-12.htmTo get in touch with Dr. Campbell, you can head to his website, Facebook page or message him on Twitter. If there’s a topic you’d like to see Dr. Campbell cover, let us know by sending an email to newstips@wncn.com.

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