A survey of new and expectant parents finds 83-percent have no idea how many immunizations their children should get before age two. The survey by three national nursing organizations found a majority of parents couldn’t identify which diseases would be targeted by immunizations, and that’s no surprise to Wanda Marshall, a nurse practitioner at Blank Children’s Health Center in Des Moines. Marshall says the new parents she deals with most often ask about the side effects of vaccines. She tells ’em about the latest advisories from the Centers for Disease Control. Marshall says the incidence of illness from a shot is very low compared to the problems associated with the disease the vaccine will guard against. Marshall says the success of vaccination programs in this country makes it more difficult to convince doubters that the diseases are much more serious than the side effects from the vaccine. She says polio is a good example, as the disease has been virtually wiped out in the U-S, but can still be passed in from a Third World Country.Young children will receive at least 20 injections before the age of two to protect against 11 diseases.The polio vaccine used to be in an oral form, and now it’s injected, to reduce side effects. And Marshall says babies must get not one but two shots of the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine because there’s been a higher incidence of measles recently.
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