Tell it to SunStar: The importance of vaccinations

Tell it to SunStar.
Tell it to SunStar.SunStar file photo

By Nora Abesamis Redulla, M.D., FPPS

In medical school, I was so sure I would specialize in Internal Medicine. Then reality descended on me during my clinical clerkship and postgraduate internship. My heart ached when I saw patients suffering from chronic diseases and I would burst into tears when one of them died. That’s why I became a pediatrician. I focus on keeping my patients healthy from birth (even from conception, if I get to advise pregnant women). I tell parents that I want their kids to live until old age with no need for maintenance medications.

Vaccinations and access to clean water have prevented countless illnesses and saved millions of lives. Numerous social media warriors, conspiracy theorists, and various know-it-alls have been attacking vaccines for some time now. Who knows how many unnecessary deaths have resulted from their efforts?

In the early eighties, the government’s vaccination program was in its infancy. I always asked parents about their kids’ vaccination status, and it was common to get the reply, “Wala” or nothing. It felt like an uphill climb convincing them, one family at a time. One day, my husband (pediatrician Dr. Vidal Redulla) and I decided to produce mini-skits for radio broadcasts. It was my first and only foray into acting. With our six-year-old daughter and another pediatrician, my good friend Dr. Janet Porcia, we taped scripted dramas about different diseases and the vaccines that could prevent them.

Looking back, it makes me laugh how we used our little portable tape recorder and cassette tapes. Then we made the rounds of radio stations, successfully begging them to air the brief skits for free. Many listeners heard them. I am convinced that God blessed our efforts and many went to the health centers to get their children vaccinated.

The social media warriors, conspiracy theorists, and various know-it-alls are still at it. They did not help build, but they are zealous at tearing down. Please get your information from your physicians. If your physician is an anti-vaxxer, he/she needs to learn evidence-based medicine and review what he/she either never learned or forgot about. I guess I’m going to get bashed now.


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