LANSING, MI (WLNS) – From measles to chickenpox, vaccinations that doctors say prevent diseases have caused controversy in recent months.
Local health officials gathered at Lansing Community College Wednesday night, trying to divide fact from fiction when it comes to immunizations.
One interesting fact is that day care providers, health care providers, and even teachers are not required by law to get vaccinations. Now, whether or not they choose to, that’s up to them.
That’s why Dr. Dean Sienko, Associate Dean for Prevention and Public Health says no matter how old you are, people need to get vaccinated.
“We can stop illnesses from occurring by taking the step…getting immunized,” Dr. Sienko said.
He says there’s a lot of misinformation about immunizations, so that’s why he used factual research to clear the air in the public lecture.
“There’s a lot of benefit for people and for all of us, the collective good is important here,” Sienko said. “I believe we have a social responsibility to one another to protect us from vaccine preventable diseases.”
He also says one of the common arguments people have is that vaccines have serious adverse consequences, such as causing autism.
“It’s been disproven, it is not scientific fact, clearly vaccines are safe,” Sienko said. “This autism argument has been a sham.. It’s been discredited and we shouldn’t even think about it anymore.”
So, to vaccinate or not?
Sienko says the risk of getting a disease is far greater than the vaccinations will ever be.
This year alone, the U.S. has seen more than 100 cases of the measles; A disease that’s been dormant for years, but is now being diagnosed again.
“We have to educate people about getting their vaccinations and keeping up with them, it’s very important to keep the disease rate down,” MSU Nursing Student, Amanda Brinker said.
“I believe in vaccinations, I’m a parent, I vaccinate my son and I also work with the head start program so I vaccinate myself to protect the children that I work with,” Kimberly Rouse, a student at LCC said.
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