Poll: Are Kids' Vaccinations Safe?
Whooping cough, measles on the rise—some say because too many skip the vaccinations.
Whooping cough, a persistent cough caused by bacteria that can cause permanent lung damage or even be fatal in infants, is on the rise, according to health officials—despite the ready availability of a proven vaccination to prevent it.
The New Jersey Department of Health Communiciable Disease Report noted 81 cases of whooping cough in the state in 2011, and the Middlebrook Regional Health Commission, which provides health services to Green Brook, Warren and Watchung, recently reported a local case of the easily-spread disease.
Incidents of the disease had been waning for many years, but there's been an upswing in recent years and officials say it may be because a growing number of parents are choosing not to get their children vaccinated.
Some parents worry over suspected connections between childhood vaccinations, including the DTaP vaccine for Diptheria, Tetanus and Pertussis, and autism and forms of brain damage, and are choosing not to get their kids vaccinated.
The Centers for Disease Control notes 1 in about 14,000 children will have seizures after receiving the DTaP vaccine. The CDC also says a few will suffer brain damage, even comas, but the incidence is so low it's hard to be certain vaccines are behind it.
There are other reasons, too.
For example, the CDC recommends five innoculations with the DTaP vaccine for children before they're six years old—including three before six months of age. Some parents say that's too much, too soon.
Others arent convinced of the efficacy of the vaccinations, or the way in which vaccinations are manufactured.
Health officials say recent increases in the number of children getting sick with diseases such as whooping cough may be caused by the drop in vaccinated children, which puts more children at added risk.
So whether you skip the DTaP or MMRV (for measles, mumps and Rubella), tell us why you feel it's the right thing to do—or tell us why you're sure to get your kids vaccinated. Login in and use the comments box to tell your story.
For more information on Whooping cough, see this fact sheet from the New Jersey Department of Health.