When I heard that during the first round of the Health Forward’s Health Madness, immunizations had been voted out in the first round, I was as shocked as Ohio State when Wichita State University defeated them to play in the Final Four. (Go, Shockers!)
I tried to understand why the most cost-effective, life-saving, and revolutionary medical advancement could not make it to the Final Four in Health Madness. Then it hit me: very few today remember the time when crippling diseases like polio or respiratory illness like diphtheria look the lives of children and struck fear in hearts of parents.
Perhaps fear is another reason. Autism Spectrum Disorder in children has been a hot topic for many years after one study, which now has been proven false, erroneously linked a vaccination to autism. The Journal of Pediatrics just published a study from the Institute of Medicine (IOM) and concluded that there is not a causal relationship between certain vaccine types and autism. This study strengthens the research that vaccines do not cause autism.
I want to keep protecting children and that means we need to make sure children are vaccinated. Even if there are only a few cases of disease today, if we take away the protection given by vaccination, more and more people will be infected and will spread the disease to others.
Although Immunizations did not “win” in the Health Forward’s Health Madness, because we have access to them, we all win. We need to keep using the prevention tools that work against disease. The best disease to treat is the one that has already been eradicated. Be wise and immunize.
Voting for the Final Four is open until 1 p.m., Sunday, April 7. Make sure you vote for your favorite prevention strategy!