Local Pediatrician Encourages Vaccines Before First Day of School

Covenant Children's Report

LUBBOCK, TX (KLBK) - "I think the vaccines are fundamentally important," said Dr. Jake Westerberg. "We sort of lose sight of some of the vaccine debate with some of the different social media and thoughts circulating out there."

Overall he says vaccines are safe and effective.

"From a historical perspective, millions of lives have been saved, and serious illnesses have been prevented."

As your children head to school Dr. Westerberg says he recommends all the vaccines that are part of the standard immunization schedule.

"Most kids, if they're up to date on their 4 year vaccinations, are ready for the entirety of elementary school. Then typically there's another round of immunizations that occur prior to junior high, around 11 years of age. Those are the updates on the TDAP, which is the tetanus, pertussis, in addition to starting the meningitis vaccine."

Recently there's been a trend of parents not vaccinating their children but he says that's concerning.

"Our concern going forward is as a greater percentage of people, if they choose not to vaccinate for various reasons, we're going to lose that herd immunity that we currently enjoy for the non-vacciners, and we're going to see a rise in epidemics of these disease."

Dr. Westerberg says specifically they're seeing some reemergence of measles,chicken pox and pertussis.

Click here for immunization requirements for Lubbock ISD.

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