With this year’s flu season gaining attention on a national level, area parents are being reminded of the importance of immunization.
The dominant strain of the current virus is known as H3N2 and is also believed to be behind two other severe flu seasons of recent years.
“We are very well equipped to handle questions that they have. A lot of people are concerned about the safety of vaccines and vaccines, like any other medical treatment, they have potential risks, but the benefits far out weigh the risks,” said Hancock Pediatrician Michael Verive, who says that, along with adequate sleep, keeping your children’s vaccinations up to date is the most effective way to keep them healthy.
Verive said, “Immunizations have decreased Influenza, Rotavirus, Pneumococcus, Haemophilus Influenzae, these are things that used to keep kids in the hospital and made up a huge percentage of the patient population. We still do have kids that are admitted with influenza, but I haven’t seen a single child admitted with influenza who had the vaccine.”
Verive is in his 20th year as a pediatrician, but recently refocused his practice to helping children prevent injury and illness, rather than treating them after an injury had occurred.
“And after 18 years of critical care, it was time to backtrack a little bit. And again, instead of focusing on treating severe critical illness and injury, it’s preventing it. I would much rather see healthy kids in the office than sick kids in the hospital,” said Verive.
Dr. Verive also emphasizes the important roll of safety equipment, such as helmets and knee pads, for preventing adolescent injuries.