Doctor discusses importance of getting children vaccinated

HOUGHTON — Michigan continues to rank near the bottom in the percentage of kids getting immunizations and Houghton County is second to last in the state for parents opting not to get their children vaccinated.

A push is on to change that.

Dr. Keith English, the chair of the Department of Pediatrics and Human Development at Michigan State University College of Human Medicine, visited Houghton to encourage parents to immunize their children to protect them from dangerous infectious diseases and help protect themselves and other children at the same time.

Dr. English said, “We have always the opportunity or the worry about another outbreak of dangerous infectious diseases, whether it’s measles or whooping cough, or pertussis.  We have had some outbreaks in this state, and elsewhere in the United States, in the past few years and we want to prevent those in the future.”

The event was part of the Your Health Lecture Series sponsored by Michigan Tech, U.P. Health System – Portage and MSU’s College of Human Medicine. Immunizations are credited with saving millions of lives over the years.

Parents should get educated about vaccines so they can make informed decisions on whether or not to have their children immunized.

Dr. English said, “These are safe and effective medications.  Rare side effects do occur, but serious side effects are very, very uncommon, and so the benefit of these immunizations to help your child be healthy and help prevent the spread of infectious diseases to other children are just tremendous.”

A new campaign to help parents understand vaccinations has been launched and can be found at