Occasionally, theres a news story about someone who was harmed by a vaccination, but without any scientific evidence.
It always makes us think of the song Here We Go Again (recorded by Ray Charles in 1967), because every time we hear something like that we feel duty-bound to remind you that vaccines have saved millions of lives and the benefits of every vaccine we know of thats been approved and recommended outweigh the risks.
We thought wed be singing that tune again when viewers of Katie Courics TV show Katie got the impression that the HPV (human papillomavirus) vaccine could cause life-threatening complications. But soon after that broadcast, Katie featured the Centers for Disease Control and Preventions head of vaccination programs, who said 57 million doses have been given with no serious problems. And on her website, Katie features a medical expert who states no cause and effect relationship between the HPV vaccine and some of the serious side effects that have been reported has been found.
Cervical cancer kills more than 4,000 North American women annually. If all 12-year-olds got the HPV vaccine, in the future around 1,300 such fatalities could be avoided each year. It also helps prevent cancers of the anus, vagina, penis, head and neck in men and women.
So ask your doc what vaccines youre missing, and make plans to get them. Our suggestions: A flu shot every year; if youre 50 or older, boosters for tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis, and the shingles vaccine.
Mehmet Oz, M.D., is host of The Dr. Oz Show, and Mike Roizen, M.D., is chief medical officer at the Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute. Distributed by King Features Syndicate Inc.