Vaccine-preventable Disease On The Rise In Lee County

Vaccine-preventable Disease On The Rise In Lee CountyRecently in the news it has been reported that Southwest Florida health officials have seen an increase in vaccine-preventable disease in Lee county children due to skepticism in parents with regards to immunization, their efficacy, and their supposed side effects.

You might remember a previous article on this site that spoke of the importance of immunization (see: Measles, Immunization, and Refusal to Vaccinate). The closing words of this article, “The health of our community will suffer if we don’t,” are ringing especially true right now.

Immunizations provide our communities with critical protections from infectious diseases. Many vaccinations have been widely successful and nearly eradicated some diseases all together. At a recent Senate Health and Human Services Committee hearing, Dr. Dennis Cunningham from the American Academy of Pediatrics highlighted the success of vaccinations, stating that the MMR (Measles, Mumps and Rubella) vaccination provides greater than 99% protection (when administered appropriately). In his testimony, Dr. Cunningham explained that if enough people are vaccinated in a population, outbreaks do not occur.

Unfortunately, our local area is suffering from dropping immunization rates and, as a result, some of our communities have experienced outbreaks of vaccine preventable diseases previously thought eradicated. We would like to remind you that immunization is a shared responsibility.

In recent years, the internet has been buzzing with inaccurate information about immunizations. It is important to emphasize that vaccines are both safe and effective. For example, according to the CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) as well as Autism Speaks, there is no credible, scientific link between immunizations and autism. In fact, the United States is routinely recognized as having the safest and most effective vaccine supply in history.

Here are some quick facts about immunizations in the United States:
  • The MMR vaccination is responsible for nearly eradicating the measles disease. In the 1950’s nearly every child developed measles and tragically, many children died from the illness. Today, many practicing doctors have never seen a case of measles.
  • Immunizations are not only safe, but they are responsible for preventing nearly 20 million cases of disease and roughly 42,000 deaths (per one birth cohort).
  • Vaccinations save the healthcare system about $13.5 billion in direct costs.
  • The disease-preventable benefits of getting vaccines are much greater than the possible side effects for almost all children.
  • The most common side effects of immunizations are very minor, and generally are soreness at the injection site or a low-grade fever.
  • The chance a child develops a life threatening allergic reaction after vaccination for measles is 1 in a million.
  • The recommended immunization schedule is designed to protect infants and children by providing immunity early in life, before they are exposed to life-threatening diseases.

Simply put, immunizations are good for our children and good for the overall health of our communities. For more information on immunizations we encourage you to visit the CDC’s vaccination website. If you have any questions or concerns regarding immunizations and your child’s health, you can reach us at 239-573-2001.(Source:

About author MacKoul Pediatrics

MacKoul Pediatrics is an amazing local pediatrics office in Cape Coral, FL where caring, compassionate doctors and nurses work with you to keep your children as healthy as possible. MacKoul cares for children from birth to college age, from Cape Coral, Fort Myers, Naples, and beyond.

May 9, 2015