Health Plus: Immunization - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Health Plus: Immunization

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August is National Immunization Awareness Month, a time in which doctors especially stress the importance of immunizing children.

During the month of August, kids are returning for another school year, going to college or maybe even studying abroad. Dr. Benjamin Davidson is a pediatrician with Covenant Medical Center. He said in the realm of vaccine-preventable diseases, it's important that as many people as possible receive immunizations.

"When you provide immunity to a large enough segment of the population, it provides what's called herd immunity," Dr. Davidson said.

He also notes not everyone can afford to get vaccines; not in the financial sense, but rather due to either immunity issues or allergic reactions to medicine.

For vaccine-preventable diseases, such as measles, mumps or Pertussis, Dr. Davidson said it's never too early for parents to think about immunizations for their children.

"There is the option to start with the Hepatitis B vaccine just a day or so after birth, and then we start continuing these vaccinations at two months, four months, six months."

He said the cycle continues as a child gets older. However, parents can show hesitation at times regarding immunization, whether it be the decision to immunize their kids at all, or the time at which to do so. Dr. Davidson said he ends up educating parents just as much as the kids he sees.

"It's our job to provide this good information to them so they can make these decisions."

Dr. Davidson also recommends kids adhere to an immunization schedule, outlining certain vaccines at specific ages. More information regarding immunization schedules for infants and kids can be found here.

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