After a summer filled with fun and sun, here in Austin, it’s time to get back to school. I’m excited about what the new year is going to bring; I’m looking forward to meeting my older son’s new teacher, getting to know his new classmates, and working with my PTA as I take on the role of Treasurer. One of the things I expect out of my child’s school is a safe environment and that includes safety from preventable diseases like measles and whooping cough. My background in science and, more importantly, my love for my children and the sense of duty I feel towards my community, led me to the decision to fully vaccinate my children on schedule. I consider it my responsibility to take action where I can to protect my kids from things that can harm them. I also owe it to my community to do my part to ensure that we are protected from the threat of an outbreak. As a parent, you have to ask yourself, do you care about children – not just your own, but others too? And what about the little babies too young to receive their vaccines? Or the elderly? Or the immunocompromised?
Thankfully, if you vaccinate, you can be rest assured that evidence and science are on your side. The vaccines we have on our schedule have been proven time and time again to be effective. For instance, the MMR shot provides the best protection from measles, mumps, and rubella. Let’s take an even closer look at measles, which is a highly contagious and harmful disease. A schedule that includes both prescribed doses of the MMR vaccine is 97% effective at preventing measles. Before the measles vaccine program was introduced, 3-4 million people got measles every year in the U.S and almost 50,000 people each year were harmed by the effects of measles – encephalitis, sickness requiring hospitalization, or death. The vaccine led to a more than 99% reduction in measles cases. This is an amazing accomplishment that deserves celebration. I am so happy that there is almost no chance that my children will have to consider measles (or any other vaccine-preventable disease) a normal part of their childhood. My kids are miserable enough when they have the common cold; I can’t imagine how horrible and frightening
Texas PTA would like to welcome our Healthy Lifestyles partner, Pfizer. Pfizer believes that all people deserve to live healthy lives, and this drives their desire to provide access to medicines that are safe, effective, and affordable. 11