Luis is a first-generation U.S. citizen and came from a family of migrant farmworkers. After a military residency, he became a board-certified medical doctor.
He is a family physician, working part-time in Fresno and the other part of the time in a rural community outside of the city. Luis sees everyone from pregnant women to the elderly and down to infants. The two locations, however similar, tend to serve different demographics.
Although he has some first and second-generation immigrants in the innercity area of Fresno, most of the patients that visit Luis are “typical Americans.” Luis says that this community tends to be more resistant to vaccinations.
In contrast, outside of the Fresno area, Luis says that 90% of his patients are rural immigrant and stationary farmworkers, most of which are below the poverty level. The vast majority are uninsured or on Medicaid, which in California, they call MediCal. He also sees many self-employed people like construction workers with no insurance.
My clinic is one of the few places that take the uninsured or MediCal patients, so if I don’t take them in, they don’t have anywhere to go.
Luis says he is still tied to his migrant culture.
“My personal perspective is just the same as theirs. Most of these farmworkers come from Mexico, El Salvidor, or Central America. In those countries, preventive medicine is huge. That’s the main type of medicine, so most of the patients don’t have an issue with
vaccines; they don’t even question it. If you order it, they’ll take it.
In Luis’s opinion, migrant workers more often than not, belive in vaccines, while natural-born Americans are more likely to question vaccines. The latter often accept the mandatory vaccines but may decline those that are not mandatory.
Some take the mandatory vaccines for school and decline flu or HPV. Two or three out of the 30 patients I see a day do not get optional vaccines. Once in a while, a parent doesn’t want shots all at once. Sometimes I’ll get someone who doesn’t want them at all, and I’ll explain the risks, my personal opinion, and my training. I respect their opinion. As long as they know the risks, then it’s on them.
The risks of vaccines are minimal, Luis explains.
I believe in vaccines. I vaccinate my children. I vaccinate my self.
I’m in the service, so I’ve been vaccinated with just about everything in the world. Twice. I’m all about vaccinations. Nothing is perfect…but in my 15 years of experience as a physician, I’ve never had an issue. And I’ve vaccinated hundreds of thousands of people.
“There may be a little inflammatory response to the actual injection. That happened in the military where we were getting vaccines like smallpox–the atypical vaccines.
Luis explains that people don’t understand that you aren’t going to get sick from a vaccine.
The flu vaccine, for example, is one people tend to reject, often because of this belief.
Nowadays, people don’t often use live vaccines for the flu so it would be impossible to give somebody the real flu…If you got the flu, that’s probably because you sat next to a kid coughing all over you for an hour.
What I’ve noticed is that people who were vaccinated for flu tend to have a weaker presentation of the disease (if they get it). They may not look like they even have the flu. There may not be full immunity (with the vaccine), but there’s at least partial immunity. You may only be sick for three days instead of ten days.
I see the kids that have not been vaccinated for flu, and they get the real flu. Most of the positive flu tests that I get come from kids that weren’t vaccinated. I’ve seen with my own eyes that the vaccine works.
Luis wants you to pick reputable resources when doing your research. And he recommends you do your research. However, don’t make your decisions based on what a celebrity has to say.
This is what I do for a living; It’s my professional opinion that you get vaccinated. I have children too. Vaccines aren’t a conspiracy. If there is (a conspiracy), they’re tricking a lot of smart people.
I have no personal gain from giving these vaccines…I’ve been doing this for 15 years and I haven’t had any issues with vaccines.
On the contrary, I have seen issues with people who don’t vaccinate themselves.
It’s the immunocompromised people at home who suffer when you are not vaccinated. You could infect a pregnant mother, an elderly relative, or a young baby with a vaccine-preventable, should you get it.
Chances are you are okay without the vaccine, but if you only think about yourself, you aren’t protecting your community–protecting all of us.