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Immunizations 101

Immunizations protect your child. In fact, they are considered the single most important preventative intervention for children's health. Yet, immunization rates continue to lag well below recommended levels.

If you've ever hesitated to vaccinate your child, consider the alternative. Many of the diseases we vaccinate against still thrive in other parts of the world, and have the potential to make a comeback in the Unites States due to inadequate immunization. Travelers can and do bring these viruses back to the United States. Without the protection of vaccines, these diseases could easily spread here again. In fact, Douglas County in Nebraska recently experienced an outbreak of measles, and whooping cough cases are on the rise in Iowa.

There also has been controversy about whether a mercury-based vaccine preservative called thimerosal, or the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine, are linked to autism in some children. After intense investigation, multiple respected health organizations, including the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Institute of Medicine, state that there is no evidence to support a link. In fact, the AAP believes that immunizations are the safest and most cost-effective way of preventing disease, disability and death.

Video: Facts & Myths About Vaccines

Presented by Dr. Rachel McCann