OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) - With the start of school just a few weeks away, many children are getting their mandatory immunizations.
It's been busy at the Gulf Coast Children's Clinic in Ocean Springs this week. Dr. Obaid Siddiqui said he's seeing a lot of patients looking for to receive their vaccinations, a requirement for them to enter schools in our state.
He said it's even more important now than 10 years ago to get your shots. "We used to have what we call the "herd immunity" where if everyone else is immunized and you're the only one not immunized, for any medical reason, then where are you going to get the disease? Nobody else has it," he said.
Dr. Siddiqui said he has a good idea on why the herd immunity has gone away. "Because of all the media hype about how immunizations are bad for you. So we have so many people who are not immunized. So many children who are not immunized running around," said Dr. Siddiqui.
He said the diseases that the immunizations prevent are contagious for about four to seven days before the symptoms show up. "So when your child is at McDonald's or Walmart, he will be infecting all those little babies who have not had their chicken pox shot," he added.
Ashley Weber's daughter just turned five-years-old so she brought her in to Gulf Coast Children's Clinic in Ocean Springs to get her shots before she enters kindergarten.
She believes vaccines are vital. "I have a big family and even a cold spreads quickly. Just one of us gets sick, everyone gets sick," Weber said.
Dr. Siddiqui said it's not only a responsibility to your child, but to others as well. "It is literally playing with fire," he warned.
While getting any medicine or vaccine isn't a magic bullet, Dr. Siddiqui said if your child does get sick, he or she experiences a much milder version of that illness.
If you ever have questions or concerns about immunizations, Dr. Siddiqui urges you to talk to your pediatrician about the side effects which he said are minor to in rare cases--serious. When looking for answers online, he said trusted sources include: The American Academy of Pediatrics, The National Institute of Health and the Centers for Disease Control.