Gen Med Covid-19

Straight Talk About Vaccines

April 29, 2020

Featured Doctor: Danelle Fisher, MD

Featured Video: Jimmy Kimmel’s Vaccine PSA

Dr. Danelle Fisher is a practicing pediatrician with over 20 years of clinical experience. She has held numerous positions in leadership including Chairwoman of Pediatrics at Providence Saint John’s Health Center and past President of the Los Angeles Pediatric Society. She is also currently the medical co-director of the Cleft Palate Team at Providence Saint John’s Health Center. Dr. Fisher has extensive media experience, appearing in over one hundred TV, print and online news articles on Pediatrics topics. Dr. Fisher is loved by all due to her jovial bedside manner and endearing sense of humor. She sites down to talk about vaccines and the time she joined forces to produce a comical but important PSA on vaccines.

What is a Vaccine?

myDoqter:   Dr. Fisher, let’s talk about vaccines. Can you tell us exactly, “What is a vaccine?”
Dr. Fisher: Vaccines are substances given by a shot or occasionally as a liquid by mouth that help prevent infection with certain viruses or bacteria. A vaccine provides protection by exposing the body’s immune system to a tiny amount of the virus or bacteria. This process helps protect a child or an adult from getting sick with certain germs and has helped save lives and prolong lives around the world for hundreds of years.

Are Vaccines Mandatory?

myDoqter: Are vaccines mandatory?
Dr. Fisher: Vaccines are mandatory in many states in order to enter school. In the state where I live and practice, California, vaccines are mandatory for daycares and private and public schools at kindergarten entry. In my medical opinion, for the health and safety of all children, all states should have similar policies for mandatory vaccines.

Are Vaccines Safe?

myDoqter: Are vaccines safe or are there risks?
Dr. Fisher: Vaccines are incredibly safe and have been given the world over for hundreds of years. The side effects are generally mild in nature, including redness at the site where the vaccine was given, fussiness or a fever. Parents should be given instructions on what to watch for and how to treat these side effects. Since there is no perfect vaccine, there is an extremely rare chance of severe reaction but an overwhelming majority of children are completely fine.

What is Herd Immunity?

myDoqter: What can you talk about vaccines and herd immunity?
Dr. Fisher: In order for a disease not to spread throughout a community, enough people have to have immunity to the disease. Most of the immunity from the disease comes by way of vaccination. This protection will in turn protect those in the community who are vulnerable to the disease, which means those who are very young or are immune compromised. Herd immunity requires a larger percentage of the community to have received vaccinations and that can be difficult to accomplish when people choose not to vaccinate their children. When herd immunity is not reached, the disease can reemerge and infect populations, as has been seen with periodic measles outbreaks.

What about vaccines for Covid-19?

myDoqter: What is the state of the art and future prospects for vacccines?
Dr. Fisher: State of the art is when a pandemic like Covid-19 emerges and vaccines have to be made quickly but effectively, so it’s happening now in real time! Vaccine science itself is a fascinating field and changes constantly, as with influenza vaccination. So stay tuned!

Top Three Things You Need to Know About Vaccines

myDoqter: Ok, we know the Jimmy Kimmel video was lighthearted,  but what are the 3 serious take home messages from your Jimmy Kimmel Video?
Dr. Fisher: 1. Get your vaccine information from a reliable source like a physician. 2. Vaccines are safe and effective. 3. Get your kids f#@!%*# vaccinated!

For more infomration and to view Dr. Fisher in the Jimmy Kimmel video click on the following video:


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