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I have been getting many messages from worried friends about the novel coronavirus from Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China; therefore, I have decided to provide a detailed summary daily/biweekly. I will also include reputable news links for you.
This summary comes from the CDC’s Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Situation Summary.
CDC Report from 2/27/20
- Sick travelers have spread the virus person-to-person in the US to close contacts.
- One person with no reported travel history or exposure has before sick with the virus.
- At this time, the virus is NOT spreading in the US.
- It is likely person-to-person spread will occur in the US leading to large numbers of people needing medical care.
- There is no vaccine or medication to treat this virus at this time.
- There IS an immediate risk of the virus to Americans, but it is LOW at this time.
- NBC News: Where did the new coronavirus come from? Past outbreaks provide hints (2/28/20)
- U.S. News: WHO Raises Global Risk from Coronavirus to ‘Very High’ (2/28/20)
- New York Times: Most Coronavirus Cases Are Mild. That’s Good and Bad News (2/27/20)
Social media has made it easy for people to voice their political views and issues with trust in the government. Federal agencies like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) come up a lot with those questioning vaccines, so I wonder:
Have vaccination rates been falling due to lost trust in public health agencies?
To find out, I turned to Taylor Holroyd, a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of International Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
In Taylor’s dissertation, she is looking at trust in public health authorities, school immunization law, and how vaccine knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs can all impact vaccine decision-making and, subsequently, vaccine coverage.
She’s particularly interested, among many other aspects of vaccinations, in looking at how and whether people trust public health authorities, such as the CDC, US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and state and local public health authorities.
Taylor wants to know whether people trust public health authorities differently than they trust healthcare providers or other parts of the government, and how that trust impacts whether they follow vaccine recommendations.
Widespread vaccination has been a huge public health success, but this success has been threatened to some extent by increasing vaccine hesitancy both in the US and in other countries.Taylor
Sandra says, “I didn’t get many vaccinations for our daughter, who is now 3 and a half. She only had the first three vaccines, but then I decided we weren’t going to vaccinate. I had no idea how important vaccines are, and as a new parent, I had no one to help me. Now I feel horribly guilty. Her doctor never said a thing and neither did anyone else.
We have a new baby on the way and I’m worried about her safety being around my mostly unvaccinated daughter. I’m worried about them both.
Is it too late to get my daughter the vaccines she needs? Will they work properly now that she’s older?”
Sandra, it’s okay. Now that you know how important vaccines are you need to take action. It is never too late to get vaccinated.
If your doctor isn’t acknowledging the importance of vaccines, it’s time to get a new one. All your child’s doctor needs to do is follow the catch-up schedule from the CDC. I suggest you document every shot she gets and to follow along with the schedule, as you are the one in charge of making sure she’s getting what she needs. Doctors have many patients and she could easily slip through the cracks if you aren’t proactive.
It’s important that you get the boosters in the time increments that the schedule suggests so that the shots work properly.
The vaccines will work properly at her age, so you don’t need to worry about that.
Go! Start these vaccinations right away so that your daughter will offer some herd immunity protection to your fragile newborn.
Now that you know how important vaccines are, don’t be afraid to have your new baby immunized on the recommended schedule. It’s a safe and effective way to provide protection from vaccine-preventable diseases!