Aurora Children’s Health sends measles letters to parents: ‘We want children to be immunized’

MILWAUKEE — Officials with Aurora Children’s Health on Monday, April 8 issued letters to parents encouraging them to schedule an appointment to get their child(ren) vaccinated against the measles — “proactively reaching out to parents whose children are not immunized for the measles.”

According to a news release, hundreds of letters were dropped to pediatric parents across the state, encouraging them to call their pediatrician immediately and get their children immunized.

The release said, “For the past 20 years, it appeared that the measles had been eliminated. Unfortunately, the highly contagious childhood disease is back. In fact, in the first three months of 2019, the United States has seen more cases than in all of 2018. It is the second largest outbreak in decades.”

“The message is simple: as pediatricians, we want children to be immunized,” said Dr. Kevin Dahlman, medical director for Aurora Children’s Health in the release. “The letters we’re distributing and the interviews we’re offering to the media is us doing our part in educating parents and making sure they get good information about vaccinating. Immunizations have saved millions of children’s lives in the last 50 years.”

The MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccine is critical in protecting the community from the spread of measles, the release said. When you immunize your son or daughter, you are not only protecting them, you are protecting the most vulnerable children and adults around them.

The letter reads as follows:

April 8, 2019

Dear Parent or Guardian:

There is currently an outbreak of measles across the U.S., the worst one in at least 25 years. Aurora Children’s Health is reaching out to you because our records indicate that your child is not fully vaccinated against the disease. Children who are not vaccinated are most affected by the infection and can become seriously ill, as can children around them with weak immune systems. Children with measles can die from the disease.

Because we want your child to stay healthy and we want to stop the spread of measles in our communities, we are asking for your help. Please call and schedule an appointment for your child to receive the MMR (Mumps, Measles, and Rubella) vaccine as soon as possible. The vaccine is very safe and effective. A first dose is recommended at age 12 – 15 months and a second dose at age 4-5 years.  Older children who have not received the vaccine can receive it at any age.

There is no treatment for measles.  Once your child has early symptoms like a bad cough, high fever, rash, and pink eye, it is too late to intervene.  That’s why immunizing your child is such an important step in protecting them.

Measles spreads quickly.  A single cough in your child’s environment can expose them for hours. That’s particularly frightening to parents whose children are already facing chronic conditions that put them at higher risk; for example, those receiving chemotherapy for cancer. By vaccinating your child, you are protecting those children who are most at risk for severe complications.

Please call our office today to schedule an appointment for the vaccine. If you think your child is up to date with vaccines, please call so we can confirm dates and update the record. Thank you for taking this important step toward protecting your child and the children in our community.

Sincerely,

Kevin J Dahlman MD FAAP

Medical Director of Aurora Children’s Health

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