YOUNGSTOWN, OH (WKBN) -- In recognition of National Infant Immunization Week, healthcare professionals are coming together this week to promote the importance of vaccinations.
Dr. Mike Sevilla with the Family Practice Center of Salem said a lot of new parents have questions about vaccines, and it can be overwhelming.
Sevilla said through immunization infants and children are now protected from 14 vaccine-preventable diseases before age two, including measles, mumps, chickenpox and polio. He explained it's important to start vaccines for your child early.
“There are a lot of hospitalizations, a lot of illnesses, and a lot of deaths in that very early age group, and the best way we can prevent that is with vaccines,” Sevilla said.
Doctors say there is still a lot of misinformation in the internet about vaccines. Many parents worry that they cause autism and other disorders, but Sevilla said there have been many studies done that show the risk of getting autism isn’t any different after being vaccinated.
Parents are also concerned about what is in the vaccine. He said there were components many years ago that could cause a reaction, but today’s vaccines are much safer.
“There are some parents who believe that there are some preservatives in the vaccines like thimerosal that may harm their child. That was a concern many years ago but there are thimerosal free vaccines now,” Sevilla said.
The Centers for Disease Control lists a vaccine scheduled for children in the United States. The doctor’s office and parents should keep a record of those immunizations. Many are needed for school-age children and those entering college.