By: Diana Bello Aristizábal
DORAL, FL – 2019 began with concerning news in the health field after a worldwide measles outbreak, that reached national territory, was reported. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), between January 1 and February 21, 159 individual cases were confirmed in 10 states within the country, including New York, Texas, and Washington.
In the face of this, different health organizations such as the CDC, the Food and Drug Administration and the National Institutes of Health have alerted people about the importance of getting vaccinated as the only resource to fight the disease.
According to Amanda Porro, Section Chief of the Pediatric Care Centers of Nicklaus Children’s Health System, the increase in reported cases is mainly related to the anti-vaccination movement.
“Some people do not allow their children to get vaccinated, because of a study published many years ago that connected autism with vaccines, which to this day has no scientific ground,” Doctor Porro explains.
Taking that into consideration, the pediatrician recommends parents to get adequately informed before deciding to go against vaccines. “Anyone can post something on the Internet. But I think it is important to invest enough time to talk with professionals who are really educated on this matter,” she says.
She also warns that measles can expose some patients to other diseases such as encephalitis or even lead to death. “We all want to think that our child will be the one who does not get sick, but because there is a risk, you do not want to take that chance,” says Doctor Porro.
It should be clarified that vaccines must be taken in the order prescribed by the doctor to be effective, as many parents decide not to under the false belief that the body is not ready to receive the recommended doses, which according to the specialist is a myth.
Regarding the ages to be vaccinated, usually, the first dose can be received between 12 and 15 months of life and the second, between 4 and 6 years. In case of an outbreak, an additional vaccine can be requested to maximize protection.
The good news is that in Miami it is possible to get a free vaccination through the Florida Department of Health in Miami-Dade that provides this service to all children between 0 and 18 years old. For more information, call 305-324-2400.