CHILDHOOD VACCINES: Web Site Touts Benefits
While infant today generally receive vaccinations for 11 diseases, the specter of deadly childhood ailments, such as measles and whooping cough, has faded, leading some parents to "question whether such vaccines are necessary," the Philadelphia Inquirer reports. To combat that notion and provide "up-to-date" information to parents and health care professionals, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia has launched a new Web site, www.vaccine.chop.edu, that offers information on common childhood vaccines. The Web site lists the benefits and dangers of each vaccine, explains how they function and addresses safety concerns. In addition, the site provides an explanation of vaccines for teens and adults traveling to developing nations. Paul Offit, chief of the infectious diseases section at Children's Hospital, said that the public "needs to be reminded" about the dangers that diseases posed to children before the "advent of vaccines." He said, "What's happening here is people have a notion of a risk-free choice (not to vaccinate their children)." Based on "[un]proven" reports that link vaccines to conditions such as multiple sclerosis, hyperactivity and SIDS, many parents have "shunn[ed]" vaccines (FitzGerald, Philadelphia Inquirer, 10/16).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.