Friday, April 27, 2012

Vaccines Benefit the Whole Community

“Doctors provide thousands of services to patients every day — but the only medical service we provide that benefits the entire community is vaccinations,” says Jason Terk, MD.

Dr. Terk, a pediatrician from Keller, spoke at the Texas Public Health Coalition second University of Health forum that focused on vaccines and how they protect the health of Texans and the Texas economy.

“Vaccines are one of the most cost-effective ways to protect Texans and the Texas economy,” Dr. Terk told Texas legislative staff and health care experts. “For every dollar spent on vaccines to prevent deadly diseases like diphtheria, measles, mumps, pertussis, and polio, Texas saves between $5.40 and $27 on costs related to treating and preventing the spread of the disease.”

Dr. Terk warns against overlooking the dangers of vaccine-preventable diseases. “Measles is probably the most exquisitely contagious disease that we know … and polio is just a plane ride away,” he cautions. Even influenza, a disease many take for granted as not serious, can hospitalize and kill perfectly healthy individuals, as was the case for Emily Lastinger, below.

Emily's Story:

One of the best ways to protect our health, the health of our community, and the health of our pocketbooks is to stay up to date on the recommended vaccines for both children and adults, says Dr. Terk. “They are safe, they are effective, and they are essential to public health.”

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