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New Study Promotes Immunizations for Children

The report comes out as opponents to vaccinations warn against the dangers of immunizations.
(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) A new study out takes a big stand on immunizing children, saying kids should absolutely get their vaccines.

However, more parents are deciding against immunizations, and now there's the re-emergence of diseases that had been almost totally eliminated.

A child's safety is a parent's first priority, but there are plenty of questions about how to do it best.

"Do I vaccinate, do I not vaccinate at all," asks Aubry Turley, a St. Joseph mother of three.

For a long time, the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine (or MMR) wasn't a question at all. Everyone immunized their kids. But more and more parents are deciding against the vaccinations, saying the risks outweigh any possible benefits.

"I am a big fan of people doing their research and making a decision that works best for their family and not taking too much stock in what they hear," said Turley.

Turly has a five-year-old boy, a three-year-old girl and a newborn, just five days old. She believes in vaccinations for her children.

"I think that it's important that my healthy kids are vaccinated because there are kids who aren't and who can't be," she said. "So, unless I don't have a really good reason to not do a certain vaccination, we will."

A new study in the medical journal, Pediatrics, counters a small but vocal group of anti-vaccine activists which includes Jenny McCarthy of The View.

McCarthy has publicly said that she believes side effects from vaccinations led to her son getting autism. The medical community disagrees.

"There is no study that can actually show a link between autism and the MMR vaccine," said Dr. Cynthia Brownfield of Heartland Health. "The only study that was out at one time has actually been entirely retracted by the medical journal that published it."

A map from the Council on Foreign Relations Global Health Program tracks the number of cases of diseases like mumps, measles and whooping cough between 2008 and 2014. That number has gone way up.

"We pretty much thought in the United States that the measles was pretty much irradiated," Brownfield said. "But we've had one of the highest number of measles cases this year than in the last 18 years."

Until more parents listen to their pediatricians, those numbers will only go up.

The research showed that negative side effects from vaccines only affect a small fraction of people.

Dr. Brownfield says in addition to the MMR vaccine, she recommends yearly influenza vaccines and also for people to be immunized against hepatitis.

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