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The Catalyst

Childhood immunizations part of preventive care

By Mikie Hayes
Public Relations

Preventive care is the cornerstone of pediatrics, and vaccination represents one of the most important strategies in the prevention of disease in children, according to the National Institutes of Health. As a result of routine childhood immunizations, over the past century there has been a drastic reduction in the incidences of childhood diseases such as measles, mumps, chicken pox, pertussis and bacterial meningitis, reports the NIH and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Even so, parents continue to struggle with the idea of immunizing their little ones and feel their children are receiving too many vaccines. While the media covers anti-vaccine celebrities and the Internet highlights controversies related to immunizing, physicians like Andrea Summer, M.D., associate professor of pediatrics and pediatric hospitalist, work to ensure that parents understand how critically important vaccination is to their children and the community.

“There is a lot of misinformation on the Internet that has fueled worries over vaccines,” said Summer. “The truth is vaccines are generally recognized as safe with only minor side effects. Some parents worry that giving too many vaccines at once will overwhelm the child’s immune system, but the number of germs that children fight off every day is far more than the number of germs in any combination of vaccines in the current schedule.”
Summer will more fully discuss the safety and efficacy of immunizing, as well as other interesting aspects of this topical subject on National Public Radio’s (NPR) Your Day program, with host Bobbi Conner, on Feb. 24, at noon.

Whether exploring childhood immunizations or sports injuries, Conner discusses relevant medical issues with MUSC experts on “Your Day,” which airs twice a month, every other Monday from noon to 1 p.m.

Upcoming MUSC segments include:

  • Jan. 27 — “New Ways to Reduce Infections in Hospital Settings” — Michael Schmidt, Ph.D. Schmidt is the director of the Office of Special Programs and professor and vice chair of the Department of Microbiology and Immunology.
  • Feb. 10 — “Kids & Sports (& Preventing Sports Injuries)” — Shane Woolf, M.D. Woolf is associate professor and interim chief of Sports Medicine in the Department of Orthopedics.
  • Feb. 24 —  “The Importance of Childhood Immunizations” — Andrea Summer, M.D. Summer is director of the MUSC Pediatric Travel Medicine Clinic and co-director of the MUSC International Adoption Clinic.
  • The S.C. Public Radio stations broadcasting the Your Day segments are: WRJA-FM/88.1 Sumter, WNSC-FM/88.9 Rock Hill, WLJK-FM/89.1 Aiken, WJWJ-FM/89.9 Beaufort, WHMC-FM/90.1, Conway, WSCI-FM/89.3 Charleston, WEPR-FM/90.1 Greenville and WLTR-FM/91.3 Columbia.


January 17, 2014

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