World Immunization Week is April 24-30. The goal is to remind people not to become complacent about immunizing children against diseases that some think have been eliminated.
There is a growing concern about the reemergence of measles, mumps and other childhood diseases. There have been more than 500 cases of measles this year in our country.
The major cause of the resurgence of these diseases seems to be the reluctance of parents to immunize their children. Their reasons are many and varied. In carrying out their views, parents are ignoring the health benefits to their children.
In 1953, I was one of more than 50,000 people in the United States who contracted polio. Since the development of the Salk and Sabin vaccines there has not been a case of polio in our country since the 1990s.
There is a reason why states require that every child be vaccinated before entering school. Immunization is the most cost effective way of preventing disease.
We have stop signs and traffic lights for a reason. Citizens obey them because they realize the harm that would occur without them.
The same is true of vaccination ... for the good of society everyone needs to participate. To do otherwise endangers all of us, especially the most vulnerable.
The irony of the anti-vaccination position is that those who embrace it deny their children the health benefits it provided them when their parents had them vaccinated.