May 24, 2010
Santa Jones remembers her daughter Myesha's first vaccine shots; she was less than a week old.
But many parents are delaying vaccinations, concerned that the medicines intended to protect from diseases may harm brain development.
Now, a new study says there's no reason to worry.
"In fact, receiving the immunizations probably has the opposite effect. It probably helps your development," said Dr. Kenneth Gottesman of St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital.
The study looked at when more than 1,000 children received vaccines.
Researchers tested them several years later and found those who received timely shots fared better on tests for language, memory and intellect.
There have been persistent claims of a link between autism and vaccines, but numerous studies show no connection. In fact, doctors say delaying vaccines puts your child at risk for sickness.
"Pneumonia, polio, tetanus; these are all potentially very serious diseases," Gottesman said.
But for Myesha's mother, a little pain is worth the knowing her child will get some protection from life threatening illnesses.
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