Tuesday, March 16, 2021
Cincinnati Children’s has launched a Vaccine Resources website, which was designed to help families make the best choices about protecting kids against infectious diseases.
The site answers questions, spotlights facts, and busts myths about vaccines, including those that guard against COVID-19.
Some parents have delayed getting their child immunized because of the pandemic, and Cincinnati Children’s is stepping up its advocacy for vaccines to stress their importance and timeliness.
The site is also intended to be a resource for community physicians and other medical providers who work closely with parents to ensure the health of children.
Mary Carol Burkhardt, MD, who is the Associate Division Director for Primary Care in the Division of General and Community Pediatrics at Cincinnati Children’s and medical director of the Hopple Street Health Center, provided expert input on the Vaccine Resources site.
“We want our families to know that vaccines are vital to the health of our children and essential for keeping our community healthy,” Burkhardt said. “Vaccines are safe, effective, and important for children. This website has factual information for anyone who wants to learn more and make informed decisions about vaccinations. Pediatricians and healthcare providers in the community will also be able to use the resources on this site to facilitate conversations with families about the importance of vaccines.”
The Vaccine Resources site addresses parents’ frequently asked questions with input from the medical center’s leading experts on infectious diseases.
In addition, a cartoon created by Cincinnati Children’s explains how vaccines protect kids by helping to make antibodies, which are used by our immune system to identify and neutralize bacteria and viruses. Additional cartoons provide kids with the reasoning behind COVID-19 precautions such as wearing masks and washing hands.
Highlighted are common childhood vaccines and the diseases they prevent, including chicken pox and measles. An immunization schedule notes the timing in which vaccines are recommended, ranging from a child’s birth to 6 years of age.
A new video features local families and medical center employees who share why they chose to vaccinate their kids – and why other parents should as well.
Other features include:
Robert Frenck, MD, director of the Gamble Vaccine Research Center at Cincinnati Children’s, also played a key role in helping create content for the Vaccine Resources site. He oversees clinical trials of COVID-19 vaccines at Cincinnati Children’s, which include more than 1,200 volunteers ranging from kids as young as 12 years to adults as old as 86 years.
“Vaccines will be critical to totally eradicate the pandemic,” Frenck said. “The only way we keep infectious diseases in check is with a high level of vaccination throughout the country.”
In general, “vaccines have been so effective that most young parents have never seen many infectious diseases,” Frenck said. “In reality, the bugs causing the infections still are out there – and vaccines are what are keeping the bugs at bay."
“A drop in vaccination rate leaves our society at risk for vaccine-preventable disease outbreaks – as we have seen for measles and whooping cough,” Frenck noted. “That’s why it’s important to have a website with accurate and up-to-date information so parents can have their questions answered.”
Barrett J. Brunsman