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Mothers who lost children to vaccine-preventable diseases urge vaccination

Aug 16, 2017

Credit FLICKR USER PAHO/WHO / FLICKR

Vaccine education groups are asking parents to get their kids vaccinated before school starts.  

Veronica McNally is with the Franny Strong Foundation. Her baby girl died at age three months from whooping cough.

She says parents are also protecting babies and immune-compromised people when they vaccinate themselves and their children.

"Whooping cough, for example, would require several doses of dTAP (the pertussis vaccine) before an infant would get vaccine-conferred immunity," says McNally. "So it's important to give that infant the circle of protection -- vaccinating everybody around the infant. And the same is true of influenza."

Strong says parents can find answers to vaccine questions and concerns at the website Ivaccinate.org and by talking with their children's pediatrician.

"Because what they're going to learn is that consensus exists in the medical community that vaccines are safe and effective and protect everyone."

Michigan has one of the lowest rates of childhood vaccination in the nation. That leaves unvaccinated children at risk of contracting diseases like measles, mumps, meningitis, whooping cough, and influenza. The diseases can sometimes cause severe side effects and even death.

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story spelled the Franny Strong Foundation incorrectly.