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Home > Health Topics > Podcasts > Immunizations Protect Children from Disease

Immunizations Protect Children from Disease

July 31, 2009

William Walker, MD
Contra Costa Health Services

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See our Immunization information and links.

We've long known that children who are not vaccinated run a higher risk of getting sick. Now, new research suggests children whose parents refuse vaccines are up to 23 times more likely to get sick than those who are immunized.

I'm Dr. William Walker, Director of Contra Costa Health Services and the County Health Officer, here to talk about the importance of protecting your child's health with immunizations.

The new research, conducted by Kaiser Permanente Colorado's Institute for Health Research, is a clear indicator on the risk of not vaccinating children. The study comes at an important time because the number of parents who don't vaccinate their children appears to be growing.

Concerns about possible health problems, such as autism, make some parents hesitant to vaccinate their children. Medical research has consistently shown us that vaccines and their components do not cause autism.

Natural immunity is an alternative some parents prefer. In a few cases, natural immunity can be more protective and longer lasting than getting vaccinated. However, this is only true if your child survives the disease without any serious complications. With a vaccine, your child won't have to suffer the first time or put any friends and family members at risk.

Today, there are a lot of vaccines available to protect our children. Sometimes it can be heartbreaking to see your child in pain, but it is these vaccines that have eliminated some preventable diseases and put most others at bay.

Vaccines protect our children from those diseases that still circulate in the United States, like chicken pox, whooping cough and the measles. Also, international travel makes diseases in other parts of the world a real possibility here at home. If we are all immunized, these diseases will continue to become more and more rare.

To see a recommended schedule of childhood immunizations and to find out where to get your child immunized in Contra Costa County, visit our website at

Thanks for listening.

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