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Pediatricians calling anti-vaccine movement a growing problem

KATV -  Vaccinations
KATV - Vaccinations
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A growing trend that's becoming a growing problem according to pediatricians, is the anti-vaccine movement.

Little Rock pediatrician Dr. Steve Thompson tells Channel 7, the most difficult obstacle they're facing is the fear of parents and the claims made on the Internet that he says are just not factual.

It may not be the best feeling for children, but the effects of choosing not to vaccinate your child creates disease outbreaks and can be life-threatening, according to health officials.

"I've seen cases of whooping cough, I've seen cases that were so serious that we had to put the children in the hospital and it was very frightening, those parents were scared to death," said Dr. Thompson.

Dr. Thompson, with the Little Rock Children's Clinic, added that since we've had the whooping cough vaccination, between 1970 and 1985, the nation averaged about 2,000 whooping cough cases; in 2014, there were nearly 33,000.

"If your child wakes up with a 104 degree fever, you don't get on the Internet and look up how to treat a child with 104 fever. What you do is you bring them to our office and rely on our training and expertise to help you diagnose that," said Thompson. "It could be anywhere from a simple viral infection to pneumonia, so you rely on our expertise for that. Well it's the same thing for vaccinations."

While some studies show possible seizures as a side-effect to vaccinations, or parents read stories of developmental problems, Dr. Thompson said those neurological issues were already part of your brain.

"Immunizations, although not a 100 percent safe, they're 99.9 percent safe," added Thompson. "I've supervised in my clinic over 500,000 doses of immunizations being given, and I've only seen one child that had a serious reaction."

Dr. Thompson tells KATV the fear of vaccinations started in 1998, when an English doctor linked the MMR vaccination with autism, however, that doctor had to recant his statement and lost his medical licenses after studies proved there was no link.

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