The Daily Record – Vaccines important for the health of a community

Posted on April 5, 2018 in Program News

Taken from the Daily Record news article “Vaccines important for the health of a community” By Jie Casey

Kittitas County is a vibrant and diverse collection of folks who share a common bond. That bond is being part of a community that, despite our different backgrounds, is united in the goal of maintaining both the beauty of our valley and the wellbeing of our neighbors.

Additionally, the doctors and advanced practice clinicians of Kittitas County work as a team to meet the unique needs of our individual communities and our county as a whole. Together we are the Kittitas County Medical Society (KCMS) and we are here for you.

We typically meet once each quarter to discuss important topics related to the health and wellbeing of everyone in our county and agree on how we can help. Recently, we came together to hear a wonderful presentation by Dr. Sara Cate about how a changing climate is affecting our health and to agree on an official KCMS position regarding the topic of vaccines and immunizations.

While the choices we make for our own health and the health of our family feel very personal, and they often are, many of those choices affect our community as a whole. Seemingly small decisions we make sometimes have large consequences that we may not immediately see.

We respect our patients’ autonomy, the right to make his or her own decisions, now more than ever before in the history of medicine. However, it is critical that we as medical professionals speak up when we witness trends that can harm the population as a whole. Deciding not to take action to protect ourselves and our loved ones from contracting and spreading deadly diseases is one such worrisome trend.

In the past couple decades, we have seen the number of patients declining immunizations and vaccines increase at an alarming rate.

The KCMS understands that healthcare and protecting our families is important to us all and if you are having any doubts or concerns we are available to discuss those and to answer your questions. If you have heard or read things that make you hesitant to immunize, please allow us to share our knowledge.

Our expertise is gained over many years of education and training for the sole purpose of helping families just like yours to live long, healthy lives. We care deeply about your neighbors and our neighbors as they are likely one and the same. We are all in this together and with your help, we can keep Kittitas County stronger and healthier than ever.

Official position statement of the Kittitas county Medical Society regarding vaccination and immunization:

The Kittitas County Medical Society (KCMS) supports routine vaccination of children, adolescents and adults in accordance with the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO) to reduce and prevalence of preventable diseases in our communities. We are proud to join the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), American Academy of Pediatricians (AAP), and numerous other specialty societies in encouraging patients to get immunized.

Vaccines are an inexpensive and effective way to reduce the spread of disease and avoid unnecessary emergency room visits and unwanted hospitalizations. They protect our most vulnerable populations like unborn children, infants, and the elderly from disfiguring, disabling and deadly diseases, help control the cost of our healthcare, and make communities like ours stronger.

Washington state is well below its immunization goal and Kittitas County is at or below the state average so we as providers and patients have work to do. We recognize that misinformation campaigns have questioned the effectiveness and safety of vaccines. Multiple studies have proven that vaccines are indeed both safe and effective and we recommend that people discuss any specific concerns with their healthcare provider in order to open a productive dialog based on facts.

Dr. Jie Casey is a resident physician at Community Health of Central Washington in Ellensburg.


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