It is National Immunization Awareness Month, and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) is highlighting a series of opinion pieces,Medicine Before Vaccines, written by senior pediatricians, to serve as a reminder what medicine was like before routine immunizations.
In this piece, written by Michael O'Halloran, MD, a retired pediatrician with 30+ years of practice in front-line general pediatrics for Midelfort Clinic-Mayo Health System in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, recalls his emotions in the wake of the deaths of two children - ages 11 and 3 - who passed from complications of dipththeria and measles.
He also discusses another patient, who had necrotizing fasciitis, a bacteria related to varicella, who had not been vaccinated against the potentially-deadly illness.
O'Halloran's piece serves as a good reminder to physicians why counseling about vaccines is so important. Please read the piece in it's entirety below, and weigh in on the discussion by emailing your thoughts to Infectious Disease Advisor's digital content editor, Colleen Hall, at [email protected]
Resistance to immunizations has been a common problem since I began in pediatrics more than 40 years ago. For many reasons, parents have declined to immunize their children. In most of these cases, they have become misinformed.