As a pediatrician, a community member and a parent, I am troubled about a recent story regarding an “information” meeting at the state Capitol questioning the safety and efficacy of vaccines.
The overwhelming majority of the medical and scientific community agree vaccines are one of the safest and most effective medical tools available. State Health Department data is evidence that the majority of Oklahoma parents choose to vaccinate their children. Groups such as those present at the meeting hosted by Rep. West are causing unnecessary concern by spreading misinformation and decreasing confidence in our vaccination program which protects us against preventable diseases.
When parents choose not to vaccinate, they are not just making a personal choice for themselves or their child. This choice leaves children and communities vulnerable to serious diseases, particularly in those who rely on their community to be protected, such as babies too young to be vaccinated and those who are immune-compromised.
I urge families to talk to their doctor with questions or concerns rather than consulting social media or individuals who distort the truth and spread misinformation. I also urge you to connect with organizations like the Oklahoma Alliance for Healthy Families and to let our legislators know Oklahomans support immunization, science-based policies and a healthier Oklahoma. It’s time to take a stand for science-supported immunization information and policies to protect our communities.
~ Dr. Eve Switzer, Enid pediatrician