Q: Lately, I’ve been hearing concerns in the media about vaccine safety. Should I have my child with Down syndrome vaccinated?
A: Absolutely! Your child deserves to be protected from vaccine-preventable diseases. Despite some recent media scares, currently recommended vaccines are very safe. Although any vaccine can have associated risks, these are low and the benefits (defense against serious and life-threatening illness) far outweigh any risks. Your primary care doctor should be able to discuss your concerns with you in greater detail. Also, although it can be difficult to sort out good information from misinformation on the internet, there are some excellent web-based resources to answer any additional questions you may have:
VaccineEducationCenter, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
Immunization Action Coalition
Centers for Disease Control & Prevention
Maria Stanley, M.D.
Ann Whitehill Down Syndrome Program
RileyHospital for Children
Assistant Professor of Clinical Pediatrics
Indiana University School of Medicine