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Get Ready! Vaccine-Preventable Diseases Are Back

July 14, 2023

Dr. Zenel’s Commentary, “PEDIATRICS, We Salute You! commemorating the 75th anniversary of Pediatrics mentions some of the first articles that the journal published in January 1948. A new vaccine against diphtheria, pertussis, and tetanus was announced! They also reviewed the plague at the time—polio—which I remember as a preteen.

What goes around comes around. With the help of the media, radio commentators, social media “experts,” and word of mouth, the “antivax” movement has gained footing. You must face this daily. The sad result of this misinformation will be a resurgence of diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus, polio, measles, H. influenzae, meningitis, and on. We are already getting reports of patients with polio, pertussis, measles, and H. influenzae. Sadly, you likely never saw them in training and in your early years of practice, whereas my generation of pediatricians had to deal with almost all of these. They are nasty!

The fact that these old diseases will be new diseases to you screams for address. As such, Pediatrics in Review will be publishing a series of In Brief articles that will emphasize how to recognize these diseases and treat them.

It is a shame that a resurgence is coming, but we must cope with it. Maybe the vaccine-hesitant will catch on to the need to protect their children (and themselves), but until then, be ready: the old-yet-new diseases are already here.

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