Dear Editor:

April 21-28 is National Infant Immunization Week and the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) use this week to highlight the positive impact of vaccinations on the lives of infants and children.

As a Certified Pediatric Nurse Practitioner at St. Luke's Health Center in Hometown, I see first and how important it is to vaccinate your child! I love when parents and caregivers ask questions about vaccinations and I encourage everyone to speak with their medical provider about vaccinations.

Immunizing your child with the vaccinations recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics protects your child and your entire family. Vaccines take care of protecting us from diseases like diphtheria, mumps, whooping cough, and rubella. Vaccination is a life threatening intervention that you can provide for your entire family.

If you don't recognize the names of some of these diseases, that's a really good thing! It means that those vaccinations are doing their job to stamp out diseases.

Today's vaccines are safe and effective. Vaccines protect children from life threatening illnesses that can have a devastating impact on the rest of their lives. And there is no truth to the misconception that there is any link between vaccines and autism.

It is important for parents and caregivers to protect the future generation through vaccination. It is important as a parent to be knowledgeable about the vaccinations that your child will be given at their well visits. Keep a positive attitude; ask questions and stay on top of the current trends in vaccination. It has an impact on keeping your own family healthy and helps people all over the world in the battle against disease.

Kim Otto, CRNP

St. Luke's Miners Health Center

Hometown