New York City has declared a health emergency over a measles outbreak and ordered mandatory vaccinations for people at risk of being exposed to the virus.
According to the New York Department of Health, every student attending public, private, or parochial schools in New York state must be vaccinated. Other states with high numbers of measles cases have similar laws in the books.
While New York City cannot physically force someone to get a vaccination, officials said people who ignore the order could be fined $1,000.
Louisiana is a “parental belief” state. That means that it is up to the parents to decide whether or not they want to vaccinate their children.
Pediatrician Dr. Jude Bares said, vaccines have become safer and more effective over the years when it comes to fighting off potentially deadly diseases.
“Even though we’ve added a number of new ones, they’re much safer now,” Bares said. “We’ve changed some of the vaccines and we’re seeing very minimal reactions. The efficacy, how good they are, are very much improved from when I was practicing in the 90s, in the air force, and before I moved here to Lafayette.”
While Bares wants to make sure that every child is vaccinated–he said he is not going to condemn any parent who chooses otherwise.
“If parents are worried about it I always tell them about how safe they are and how many lives they save,” Bares said. “I also don’t put them down and tell them that they’re wrong.”
Even with Louisiana being a “parental belief” state, Bares said the vaccination numbers are pretty good with about 90% of all children receiving their vaccinations.
“But the more that people delay or don’t get vaccinated we’ll see more of these diseases,” Bares said.
Whether a parent decides to be part of the 90% or fall into the 10% category…pediatricians agree that the more parents know the better off they are with making the right decision for their family.
Our Lady of Lourdes Women’s and Children’s Hospital will be hosting a Shots For Tots even this Saturday, April 13th.
The event will take place from 9am to Noon and is located at the Kids Specialty Center on Ambassador.
The cost is $10 and parents are asked to bring copies of immunization records.