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Community Immunity: How Immunizations Can Save Your Child's Life

community immunity - how immunizations can save your child's life
Jenna Dye debated about immunizations for her daughter Ivy. She consulted Corina Veatch, MD, (right) before choosing which immunizations she felt were appropriate.

As a parent, Jenna Dye of Phoenix struggled with the decision to vaccinate her 3-month-old daughter Ivy for pertussis (whooping cough). She called Corina Veatch, MD, who practices internal medicine and pediatrics at Cave Creek Family Medicine.

"I really wanted a trustworthy opinion," Jenna said. "I felt very supported and not pressured. Dr. Veatch weighed the pros and cons and was very open-minded in helping me decide which vaccinations I felt were appropriate for my daughter."

When a majority of individuals are immunized against a contagious disease, most members of the community are protected against that disease, Dr. Veatch said. It's called herd immunity — there's little opportunity for an outbreak. One of the best ways you can protect your children from disease is to make sure they have all of their vaccinations.

Immunizations will:

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This article appears in the July - August 2013 edition of HealthBeat, John C. Lincoln's free health newsletter.

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  • Save you time and money. Some diseases that can be prevented by vaccines can result in prolonged disabilities and take a financial toll because of medical bills or long-term disability care.
  • Protect future generations. In the United States, vaccines have reduced, and in some cases eliminated, such diseases as chicken pox, polio and measles that killed or severely disabled people just a few generations ago.

"It's my job to listen to parents' concerns and help them make the best informed decision about vaccinating their children," said Dr. Veatch. "Ultimately, the decision to not vaccinate your children puts them at risk for preventable disease."

Schedule an appointment for back-to-school vaccinations or seasonal vaccinations at a John C. Lincoln Physician Network location. Visit JCL.com/practices to find an office in your neighborhood.

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