'We have the technology to help make our lives healthier and longer'

'We have the technology to help make our lives healthier and longer' »Play Video

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SPRINGFIELD, Ore. - Some of the most important decisions you make for your children has to do with their health.

How do you know you're making the right choices?

That question is going to be answered very differently in every family.

Oregon has one of the lowest vaccination rates in the country.

But vaccines are important for your growing child, according to Dr. Pilar Bradshaw.

"Vaccines work," said Dr. Pilar Bradshaw. "They decrease the risk of dying or being disabled or very injured by serious illnesses."

Bradshaw said if parents continue to not vaccinate their children, it's putting both the child and those who receive immunizations at risk.

"There's this thing called herd immunity, and in the U.S. if we aren't careful, we will lose that," she said. "Herd immunity is this idea that if you vaccinate most of the population, the few people, the stragglers who choose not to be vaccinated will be protected because they are surrounded by a sea of people who are less likely to carry the disease."

Bradshaw said the trouble comes along when too many people opt out of vaccinations.

"Vaccines are not 100 percent effective every single time, so the more you're exposed as a vaccinated person to the disease, then the higher your risk even though you did the right thing," Bradshaw said.
     
Bradshaw said vaccination is the right and safe thing to do for your kids. She said the U.S. is the slowest to pick up new vaccines, meaning they've been through many years of testing.

"Now we have the technology to help make our lives healthier and longer," she said. "Why wouldn't we take it?"
    
Bradshaw said the best thing parents can do is get the vaccinations. If you have questions or concerns, talk them over with your doctor.

For more information about vaccinations, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.