OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) - August is National Immunization Awareness Month. And the fight continues for physicians to show they are safe and necessary.
On this day, Evan Applewhite is warming up for his one-year checkup. He doesn't know it yet, but it's also vaccination day.
Mom Demetria Applewhite admits she had some doubts at first about going through with it.
"I did go through that, but I think it's a good idea especially being around other kids when he goes to school," she said. "Most schools require it anyway. I just think it's good to keep him safe."
She's now sold on the process, even if the whole family isn't.
"Actually, I have family members who feel like maybe it does more harm than it does good," Applewhite said. "I'm not sure why. I think they Google a lot of things and see on the internet."
August is a good time of year to promote immunizations because schools and daycare centers require them. But any time of year is a good time for physicians, like pediatrician Dr. Andrea Logan, to make the case for vaccination as a disease control method.
"Surprisingly, to me, sometimes parents are on their third and fourth child who have now become concerned," she said.
Dr. Logan said she understands the concerns that parents have regarding anything involving their children, including vaccinations. But her bottom line is if one child isn't immunized, it affects everybody else. And that includes children who can't have vaccinations for a variety of health reasons.
"Those other children are placed at risk if I allow unvaccinated people to be in my clinic," Logan said. "So, I can't because I have to take care of everyone's child."
"I know parents are concerned about their children's health and they want to make the best decisions for their child's health," she said. "I also want to make the best decision for your child's health. It's very important for me as well."
And Logan said that vaccinations are important, even if the diseases they prevent are rarely seen.
"Polio … we don't see here. But it exists," she said. "It's in the Middle East. It's one plane flight away. Someone could bring polio and then we're all at risk."