Is your child’s health at risk?

Published 11:31 am Thursday, July 6, 2017

Is Your Child’s Health At Risk?

Yes—unless he or she is protected with shots (immunizations). Shots help save lives. Shots help prevent some serious illnesses that can cause pain, fever, rashes, coughs, sore throats, hearing loss, blindness, paralysis, brain damage and death.

Vaccination against infectious diseases remains one of the most successful health interventions in the past 100 years. Countless lives have been saved as a result of vaccines. Despite that, more than three million people die from vaccine-preventable diseases each year. Approximately 1.5 million of these deaths are in children less than five years old.

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The media and the Internet are becoming more common places for families to obtain information. Unfortunately, there is no review of materials put on the internet and parents accept all the information as “fact.”  The anti-vaccine movement has developed powerful imagery which exploit parental fears.

It is difficult to quickly communicate the truth behind the science of vaccines which is problematic when more and more we are dealing with “sound bytes” in the media.

You protect your child from car accidents with safety belts. . . you protect them from drowning by teaching them how to swim. . . and you should protect them from all vaccine-preventable diseases.

Get the facts:
• Vaccines do NOT cause autism. Countless studies have found vaccines are a safe and effective way to prevent serious disease.
• Studies show there is NO link between autism and the MMR vaccine, thimerosal or  multiple vaccines given at once.
• Some say the illnesses that vaccines prevent are not a big deal. However, outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases in Ohio prove these illnesses are still dangerous.  In 2014, Ohio experienced outbreaks of mumps and measles. Some patients suffering from these illnesses experience very serious complications including deafness and decreased fertility.
• Chickenpox (varicella) can cause serious complications and for some children, especially those who are immune-compromised, it can be life threatening. Pregnant women who contract chickenpox may miscarry or the fetus may have abnormalities, such as skin scars or blindness..
• Vaccines are continually monitored for safety, and like any medication, vaccines can cause side effects. The overwhelming majority of vaccine-related side effects are mild and short-lived.
• The risk associated with these side effects is significantly lower than the risk of having severe illness or death from the disease the vaccine is designed to prevent.
The Lawrence County and Ironton City Health Departments are preparing back-to-school shot clinics. Last year’s back-to-school season was very crowded with families who waited until a week or so before the start of school to begin looking for an appointment to vaccinate their children. This last minute search for vaccinations resulted in temporary vaccine inventory shortages and insufficient time to vaccinate all of those students by the start of the school year.  Again this year, hundreds of students will be seeking vaccinations at different grade levels needing to meet their school districts’ immunization policies.

“Beat-The-Rush” walk-in shot clinics will be held at the Lawrence County and Ironton City Health Departments at 2122 South 8th Street in Ironton every Thursday 9 a.m. to noon in July.  Bring your child’s shot record and insurance card with you.  The cost of the immunizations will be billed to the child’s insurance. Any child who is uninsured will not be turned away for inability to pay. Those with no insurance and the ability to pay will be charged an administration fee.  If you are unable to attend the “Beat-The-Rush” Clinics on Thursdays in July, you may call to schedule an appointment more suitable for your schedule. However, please note, the closer the date of the start of school, the more difficult it will be to get your child’s vaccines completed in time.


Linda Howard is a registered nurse and the infectious disease and immunization cordinator for the Lawrence County Health Department. For more information on vaccination clinics, visit