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Local Pediatrician Talks Children Immunizations

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In our area health officials encounter children who are not immunized. Lourdes Hospital Pediatrician Dr. Roopa Sharma says parents of a couple of her regular patients resist getting their children immunized. She stresses children should be immunized against all diseases possible. She answer common questions such as are multiple immunizations safe for a baby and can't hygiene and nutrition provide enough protection against disease? Dr. Sharma says immunizations are good for children and society as a whole.

"It's not just for our kids. It's something we're doing for the whole society when we immunize our kids. How? When our kids are healthy and don't have any infections they won't give that infection to anybody else," said Dr. Roopa Sharma, pediatrician at Lourdes Hospital.

"It's so important to have your children immunized against all vaccine-preventable diseases. That's really the best defense we have. In the case of an exposure to measles an immunized person about a 90 percent chance of contracting the disease as opposed to someone who's fully immunized and that chance is one percent," said Stacey Bender, Public Health Nurse and Immunization Coordinator for the Broome County Health Department.

According to the Broome County Health Department, about 95 percent of school-aged children are immunized, but only about 50 percent of children in the county aged 19 months and under are immunized. For school-aged children, exemptions for things such as religious reasons are reviewed annually.