Friday, September 30, 2022


Florida begins a long effort to recover from Ian, an Arkansas school works to attract more students to higher education, and Massachusetts Narcan trainers enlist the public's help to prevent overdose deaths.


Hurricane Ian leaves severe flooding and millions without power in Florida, the Senate passed a spending bill to keep the government running to December, and senators aim for greater oversight of federal prisons.


Baseball is America's pastime, and more international players are taking the stage, rural communities can get help applying for federal funds through the CHIPS and Science Act, and a Texas university is helping more Black and Latina women pursue careers in agriculture.

Family Physicians Urge Parents to Talk Over Vaccinations


Thursday, August 31, 2017   

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Back-to-school preparations require more than just pencils and backpacks. Doctors are reminding parents and caregivers to have a conversation about vaccinations before school bells ring.

Dr. Pamela Rockwell is the medical director of Dominos Farms Family Medicine and an immunization expert who sits on two vaccine advisory committees for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. She said she knows these can be difficult decisions for parents, and that's why it's important to have a close relationship with a health expert who can help sort fact from fiction.

"Discussion is always in order, and your family physician can point you toward some information if you need some data,” Rockwell said. “But having that ongoing, trustworthy relationship over years is key."

Some parents don't immunize children for religious reasons; others because of concerns about potential health problems associated with some vaccines.

Michigan law now requires parents to meet personally with health officials before opting out of vaccinating children for philosophical reasons. Along with the required school shots, topics to bring up with doctors include teen vaccinations for HPV, and seasonal flu vaccines.

As kids head back to the classrooms, Rockwell said it's important to remind them how to prevent the spread of common germs through hand washing and proper hygiene. She added that when it comes to vaccines, the volume of information online and on social media can be overwhelming.

"I think that people just are frightened and that's what has happened for about a generation and a half,” she said; “and we've become complacent, because we really haven't seen these vaccine-preventable diseases."

She cited the measles as an example of a highly contagious disease that once was common and that can have serious and even fatal consequences for young children - particularly those with weakened immune systems or who can't be vaccinated for medical reasons.

"And it's for those kids who have medical contraindications, that we should all as a society be obligated to protect them, because if enough people are vaccinated around those that cannot get vaccinated, then they will be protected as well,” Rockwell said.

She said adults also have reasons to ask about vaccines, from tetanus shots to the shingles and pneumonia vaccines for those in their 60s and older. The nonprofit Immunization Action Coalition offers extensive information on vaccine risks.

get more stories like this via email

The number of absentee ballots requested by Michigan voters increased by 73% between the 2018 and 2020 elections, according to the Michigan Secretary of State. (JimCanally/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

Voting advocates say more and more Michiganders are choosing to cast absentee ballots to save time and avoid long lines on Election Day. In 2020…

Social Issues

With the election a little over a month away, some say caregiving and long-term care are issues too big for candidates in Oregon to ignore. There …


Pennsylvania has a strong commitment to urban agriculture and community gardening, and some groups in the state are working to get more colorful …

Southern Co., the parent company of Georgia Power, says it is actively advancing a net-zero goal by 2050. (Photo of Plant Wansley by Joe Cook; flight provided by SouthWings)


Georgia Power is reducing its reliance on coal by phasing out several coal-fired units. However, clean-energy advocates say the company should …

Social Issues

A new report on Black students in the community college system found fewer are signing up to attend two-year schools, and the college enrollment …

No-till farming is considered one of several conservation practices in agriculture. (Adobe Stock)


Greenhouse gas emissions have been potentially reduced by 50,000 tons in the state, with the help of Wisconsin farmers supported by a statewide …

Social Issues

Social Security benefits again could see their highest increase in several decades, but those advocating for beneficiaries say there is still plenty …


Watchdog groups say chickens used by Costco are bred to grow so quickly, many of them cannot stand under their own weight, and recent lawsuits …


Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021