We’re making progress on immunization rates

The last year has been eventful. The British doctor who published a medical article potentially linking autism to vaccinations was accused of falsifying his data and lost his medical license. The pediatric community welcomed the approval of an enhanced pneumococcal vaccine (Prevnar 13), which will protect young children from even more subtypes of deadly bacteria that cause meningitis and severe blood infections. And, we were saddened by the tragedy of 10 infants from California dying of whooping cough (pertussis), a sobering reminder that vaccine-preventable diseases always are around.

Beginning in early 2010, all of the entities of Children’s Hospital and Health System pledged to work together to make a difference. Harnessing this collective energy and collaborative spirit, during the last year the health system was able to show improvement in vaccination rates in children age 2 and younger. In 2011, we will continue to partner with other organizations in our community to improve immunization rates across the region for all age groups and to spread the word that vaccines are effective, necessary and safe.

For more information about immunizations, read my blog Get the Facts about Vaccinations or call (800) CDC-INFO or visit Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin.

Lyn Ranta, MD~ Lyn Ranta, MD, director of Physician Affairs, Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin

Dr. Ranta is a co-leader of Children’s Hospital’s immunization initiative, and she treated children as a community pediatrician for more than 20 years.

Doctor who linked autism to vaccine may have falsified results

In 1988, Dr. Andrew Wakefield and other British physicians published a study that proposed a link between the MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccine and autism. In the last 22 years, many larger more rigorous medical studies have failed to replicate any evidence of a connection between any vaccine (or vaccine preservative) and autism spectrum disorders.

An article this week in the British Medical Journal reviewed all of the original research data and concluded that Dr. Wakefield either grossly misinterpreted or potentially falsified his 1988 results. His license to practice medicine in Britain was revoked in May 2010.

Unfortunately, many parents still continue to be fearful and refuse to have their children vaccinated. Talk with your physician to help separate fact from fiction. The risk of catching these preventable diseases is real. The germs are still present and spread as easily as the common cold. Be a superhero and make sure your children are appropriately immunized.

Lyn Ranta, MD~ Lyn Ranta, MD, director of Physician Affairs, Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin

Dr. Ranta is a co-leader of Children’s Hospital’s immunization initiative, and she treated children as a community pediatrician for more than 20 years.

Get the facts about vaccinations

As a parent, I have always wanted to do what is best for my children. Making decisions about vaccinations was not a slam dunk. Even though I am a pediatrician, I still took extra time to try to sort through what is fact and what is the fiction. I made the decision to immunize my own children for the following reasons: …Continue reading →