Have vaccine questions? Get them answered by a Chicago area pediatrician

Chicago-area parents looking to get their questions about vaccines answered have an opportunity to do just that this week.

On Feb. 23, Dr. Carissa Lee Holmes, an Arlington Heights-based pediatrician – and mom of three – will be hosting one a public forum, Everything You Want to Know About the Safety of Childhood Vaccines But Are Afraid to Ask,” at the Arlington Heights Park District swim center,presenting the latest data and giving straight answers on immunizations.

“A lot of people hear rumors and read headlines, but they don’t really know the facts” about vaccines, Holmes says. “We’re trying to take their concerns one at a time, head on, and arm them with the information to feel comfortable with the recommendations of their pediatrician.”

At the top of Holmes list is a purported link between vaccines and autism that has been swirling for decades and is largely based on a 1998 studythat has since been retracted by the journal that published it. The doctor, AndrewWakefield, had his medical license revoked last month.

“At this point, we have definitely proven that there is no link between the development of autism and any vaccines,” Holmes says. Nearly a dozen studies have failed to replicate the results of Wakefield’s original study, and his research methods have been widely criticized in recent years.

Read more about the American Academy of Pediatric’s 2011 immunization schedule, released in January.

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