As adults a seasonal flu shot is probably the only one we should schedule each year, but for children there's quite a list. With a series of vaccinations just months apart it can be easy for parents to forget or even skip an appointment. That is unless you go to the Avera Medical Group Pediatrics clinic in Mitchell.
Cries and Screams are the sounds no parent wants to hear. But when it comes to your child's health, a few tears now are much better than a virus later.
"There are so many diseases out there that we can't protect her children against and so it's important to give the vaccines that are recommended to our kids so we can at least protect them from those diseases." Said Dr. April Willman, pediatrician at the Avera Medical Group Pediatrics Clinic.
Through the first three years of life there is an extensive schedule of recommended vaccinations and it's very easy for parents to skip one or two. That's where the doctors and nurses at the Avera Medical Group Pediatrics Clinic in Mitchell have stepped in to help.
"I am very proud of our staff for staying on top of things and being willing to go to the work that it takes to do it and entering the stuff into the state database so that everybody in South Dakota has access to the child's immunization records and where they're standing if they would transfer or move to another clinic." Said nurse Connie Bruske.
Each year, clinics are awarded the Golden Syringe for having an immunization rating of at least 90 percent. The pediatrics clinic in Mitchell's rating is 97 percent and has been awarded for the sixth consecutive year, a record for South Dakota clinics. That rating also outshines even the national standards for immunizations. While it's easy to sit back and take the credit, Dr. Willman says it's a team effort.
"A lot of it does depend on the parents and I feel like our job as providers and staff at pediatric clinic is to provide the parents with information about the vaccines to answer their questions to dispel any mess and to just tell them what we recommend and then it's up to them it's their responsibility whether or not they choose to go with the recommended schedule or some other alternative." Said Dr. Willman
Vaccinations are something clinic manager Cindi Nixon is adamant about. She has first hand experience with what can happen if you don't immunize. Even though her own daughter was vaccinated she still contracted whooping cough as a infant.
"She was two months old and she did have her very first one (vaccination) at that time, but at that point she had already gotten it from somebody that was not vaccinated." Said Nixon.
Cindi believes that one vaccine saved her daughter's life, but her story also shows parents why it can be careless not to vaccinate your children.
"If you're not immunized you have a big responsibility of staying away from people, not being on the public as much as the ordinary normal person that is vaccinated." Said Nixon.
With each passing year more diseases and viruses are being cured or prevented through immunizations. So as a parent, why wouldn't you vaccinate?
"Vaccines are one of most important things that we can do for the health of our children and we're excited to be such a good part of that in keeping the kids of this area healthy." Said Dr. Willman.
Seeing those tears is heart-wrenching, but trust me and every pediatrician, your kids will thank you in the future.
Whether or not to immunize your child is up to you as the parent. But talk with your doctor and discuss the best option for you and your child.
For more information about vaccinations and checklists for your child click here or call 877-AT-AVERA.