Vaccine Exemptions Threaten Kids Heading Back to School: Here’s What Parents Need to Know by Cindy Cooke, DNP, FNP-C, FAANP
A rise in non-medical vaccine exemptions has created spots in the U.S. where the risk of contracting diseases is growing. Pediatric and family nurse practitioners (PNPs and FNPs) are out to change that.
Immunizations are consistently listed in the top five medications prescribed by PNPs and FNPs largely because they are more inclined to work with parents to help put them at ease about vaccinations. If you are on the fence about whether to vaccinate your child before school, here’s what a PNP wants you to know:
- Your child’s friends may not be vaccinated. Ninety-two percent of kids are protected, but you may live where numbers are lower.
- Vaccines save lives. They will prevent 20 million fourth graders from disease and 42,000 from early death.
- Vaccines are good for the community. Herd immunity protects people who can’t get vaccinations.
- Vaccines prevent outbreaks. The flu shot prevents millions of cases of the flu, and the rotavirus vaccine prevents 60,000 hospitalizations every year.
- Vaccines are safe. They work, and they don’t cause autism.
It’s natural to be concerned about your child’s health. A PNP or FNP will talk with you about your vaccination fears.