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Twenty-two medical groups are trying to boost the public's confidence in vaccines, but some advocates want changes in how vaccines are given.
Confidence about vaccines in Utah is already pretty high. Utah Immunization Program Outreach Coordinator Rebecca Ward said, "We have a fairly high vaccination rate in kindergarten and in child care facilities, anywhere from around the high '70s to the mid-'80s."
Ward says parents will always have questions about the safety of vaccines. "There have always been issues that continue to circulate about vaccines, such as Thimerosal and the preservatives [in vaccines]. Some parents are concerned that their children may be getting vaccines too early and that their system's not able to handle it," she said.
But, Ward says the link between vaccines and Autism because of Thimerosal is not real. She also adds parents need to make sure vaccinations happen when they are supposed to.
"Their series [of vaccinations] would not be complete until all of the vaccines were given in that series. So, once you start, you want to make sure that you stay on time so that they get the adequate protection they need for the age that they are," Ward said.
But some critics question the need to have a cookie-cutter type plan for having kids vaccinated along the same general timeline. National Vaccine Information Center Director of Patient Safety Dr. Vicky Debold said, "We advocate an individualized schedule where parents, if they decide that they need something that is specific and individual to their children, that the medical community be willing to work with these parents."
Debold says their group is not against vaccinations, but they do worry that children may be getting too many too early. "The CDC recommended schedule is that 15-month-[old] infants receive [vaccinations for] Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertusis, Haemophilus Influenza B, Polio, Measles, Mumps, Rubella, Chicken pox, Pneumococcal, Influenza and Hepatitis B," she said.