Health professionals create 'twitter storm' of vaccine information

Feb 10, 2015

 

At least 25,000 upstate New York school children are not fully vaccinated against communicable diseases. So New York doctors have been using social media campaigns to spread facts about vaccination.

Health professionals from across the country have been creating a so-called twitter storm of information about the measles vaccine using the hashtag #measlestruth.

Elizabeth Murray is a pediatrician at the University of Rochester Medical Center explains why she participated.

"I love vaccines! I'm grateful to live in a time when we have them. We know that not that long ago, for a lot of us our parent's generation or some of us our generation, kids died routinely, unfortunately, from these diseases that know can be prevented by vaccines."

Murray said everyone who can be vaccinated should be for the greater community good.

"We have people who just cannot be vaccinated, and so they are always going to be at risk. I think as a society we owe it to each other to make sure that we take care of each other, as well."

Murray believes insults aimed at people who chose not to vaccinate their children are counterproductive. She prefers beginning a dialogue that includes scientific information.

"Any time you come at somebody harshly or take a negative road, you're going to shut down dialogue. That's what we need to do. We need to have these conversations and understand the perspective that everybody is coming from."

The pediatrician believes everyone has the best intentions for protecting children, but the era when children regularly died from what are now preventable diseases is not a recent memory.

"It's really heartbreaking. You can still go to some of the older cemeteries and see whole areas where the children had been laid to rest after they died from measles, mumps, back a long, long time ago, small pox."