More AR children getting vaccinated

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - According to Arkansas Children's Hospital, Arkansas's immunization rates have risen to over 71 percent in the last six years. That's up from nearly 56 percent in 2007. However, there are still more than 3,400 children in Arkansas who are unvaccinated.

"Those parents who choose not to get the vaccines or get them on time are concerned, because they've heard from someone or maybe read an article that it overwhelms the kid, or that there's potential side effects," said Pediatrician Dr. Lowery Beck.

However, Dr. Beck said that's not the case.

"Studies have shown that our immune system is not affected by the vaccinations," said Beck.

In his experience, it's not so much that parents refuse the immunizations all together, but rather not getting their child fully vaccinated.

"I can't think of anybody in my practice recently that just refused the vaccines," said Beck. "We'll have some that will get maybe one or two at a time."

Despite those who haven't vaccinated or fully vaccinated their child, the rates for those who choose to get all of them have risen. Beck said one serious sickness possibly pushed parents to vaccinate.

"There was a lot of Pertussis in the community in the last ten years," said Beck. "A lot of adults get Pertussis, so there's been a big push to get children and adults protected from that, and I think that alone has boosted all the immunization rates."

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