childhood vaccinations

A syringe on a tray.
Heather Hazzan, SELF Magazine

As the school year begins, parents are checking off things they need to do, including making sure their children get required vaccines.

But some parents are opting out, and last year that led to the worst measles outbreak the U.S. has seen in more than two decades. Now, doctors and nurses are working to get more children vaccinated. 


Getting the flu while pregnant doesn't appear to increase the child's risk of being diagnosed with autism later on, a study finds, and neither does getting a flu shot while pregnant.

As Non-Medical Vaccine Exemptions Grow, Parents Seek Transparency In Schools

Nov 16, 2016
Courtesy of the Moore family

AUSTIN, Texas — Georgia Moore was diagnosed with leukemia the day after her 10th birthday. The fourth-grader began an intense chemotherapy regimen, which left her immune system vulnerable and kept her from attending her small, private Montessori school here.

But her younger sister Ivy was in kindergarten at the same school, where a handful of families opted out of vaccinating their children. That meant 6-year-old Ivy might bring home germs that could pose a risk to Georgia.

Vaccines Are Not Just For Kids

Jul 12, 2016
ekigyuu/via Flickr

The word “immunization” has long evoked images of nervous children wincing as they get injections to protect them from measles, mumps and other diseases.

Now California’s doctors are turning their attention to adults, who haven’t been as diligent about getting their own shots. The California Medical Association Foundation, the charitable arm of the Sacramento-based physicians’ organization, published a vaccine schedule last year to inform doctors and patients about recommended vaccines for adults.

Why Your Future Vaccination Might Not Be A Shot

May 4, 2015

Vaccines don't always make it into the people who need them the most. Many require a syringe and a needle to enter the bloodstream and create immunity. And that means a doctor or nurse has to do the job.

But with if a vaccine could be delivered by simply applying a patch? That's Mark Prausnitz's goal: creating a nickel-sized bandage-like device covered with 100 microscopic needles that would puncture the skin, then dissolve to get the vaccine into the body.

A decade ago in Nigeria, rumors spread that polio vaccines were surreptitious sterilization efforts. That led to a boycott of the vaccine in 2003 and a resurgence in the poliovirus three years later.

The story points up a key point about vaccines: Confidence is critical.

A new study of more than 20,000 people in five countries looks as why people aren't confident in vaccines. The reasons vary, from a belief the vaccine isn't safe to a bad experience with a previous vaccination.

And the results can be devastating.

When Sara Martín's children were infants, she made sure they got all the recommended immunizations.

"And then somewhere when they became toddlers I started to fall a little behind on the vaccinations," she says. "Not intentionally — just, that's kind of how it happened for me."

Martín is 29 years old and a single mother of two. She says it was a huge chore to travel from her home in East Los Angeles to a community clinic downtown.

7 Things You Need To Know About Measles

Feb 10, 2015
illustration of child with measles
Sue Clark via Flickr creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

From December 28, 2014 to February, 121 cases of measles were reported in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease ControlSound Medicine spoke with a pediatrician and a public health expert to get the facts on the disease: its effects, how it’s spread, who is at risk, and the laws surrounding vaccinations at schools.

With the recent outbreak of measles originating from Disneyland, there's been no shortage of speculation, accusation and recrimination concerning why some people won't vaccinate their children.

Most of the 92 cases of measles confirmed in California are among adults — more than 62 percent. Maybe they or their parents chose not to vaccinate, or maybe those people are allergic to one of the ingredients in the measles vaccine.

But it's also possible that a few of those adults happened to slip through the cracks when the measles vaccine first came to the public.

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