BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — There's a new fear that as more people are out and about again, there will be more waves of dangerous diseases, but doctors say the good news is that these illnesses are entirely preventable.
"We've certainly seen an uptick in vaccine hesitancy here in Western New York," said Dr. Stephen Turkovich, Chief Medical Officer of Oishei Children's Hospital.
The CDC is using this week to highlight the importance of protecting younger children with National Infant Immunization Week.
With thousands of kids not enrolling in kindergarten for the 2020-2021 school year, many kids missed out on the vaccines they would have been required to get in order to enroll in school, per the CDC.
They say that year, about 94% of kids had all shots they needed, down one percent from the year before. The agency says four percent of kids who did not have vaccine exemptions were not up to date with their MMR vaccines.
Dr. Turkovich says many worry about what's in vaccines and how many injections their kids are getting at once.
"Although you're gonna get 3-4 shots with a few more antigens that one day, compared to the number of antigens or things you're exposed to on a daily basis, that's a very small fraction and it's been proven to be safe through many many studies," said Dr. Turkovich.
If we don't reverse the trend, he says we may face more outbreaks.
"If we start to see less and less kids get vaccinated, we're gonna see the return of things like chicken pox, whooping cough, which as an older kid it causes a cold, but in babies it can cause pretty severe respiratory stress and sometimes make them stop breathing," said Dr. Turkovich.
If you have any questions, he suggests asking your doctor or looking up a trusted source. The CDC also has a catch up schedule on their website here, letting you know how you can get kids back on track.