August 6, 2013

Marshall Medical Center reminds parents about the importance of immunizations


LEWISBURG, Tenn. – No one likes the thought of getting a shot, but making certain that a child is properly immunized is one of the most important steps a parent can take to protect their health. As the new school year begins, Marshall Medical Center (MMC) reminds parents about the importance of keeping their children’s immunizations current.

August is National Immunization Awareness Month. Physicians often see patients—both children and adults—who are not appropriately immunized against infectious diseases.

“Vaccines are intended to not only help keep children safer and healthier, but to also help stop the spread of deadly, preventable diseases,” said Dr. Thomas Mitchell, emergency department director at MMC.

Parents and guardians should work with their primary care physician and/or pediatrician to make sure everyone in their family is up-to-date on all necessary vaccinations and to set up a vaccination schedule.

“Parents are encouraged to pay close attention to vaccination schedules, both for infants and school-age children,” said Dr. William See III, a pediatrician on the medical staff at MMC. “If your son or daughter is not current on their immunizations, consult with your child’s health care provider to determine the best schedule to bring their vaccines up to date as soon as possible.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that children younger than two years of age can be protected from 14 potentially serious diseases with vaccines. One of the first shots a child receives is the vaccine for hepatitis B, a virus that causes liver damage. Each year 3,000 to 5,000 people in the United States die from a liver disease caused by hepatitis B. By the time a child is two years old, they should also have been vaccinated for chickenpox, measles, whooping cough, tetanus, polio and other illnesses.

Both children and adults are recommended to receive a flu shot each year. This can reduce the threat of getting influenza, which can be life threatening in some cases. A complete immunization schedule is available from the CDC at