Health & Fitness

The docs: Get vaccination information before you need it

In the animated Disney comedy, “The Emperor’s New Groove,” haughty Yzma (Eartha Kitt) dismisses the concerns of one unfortunate subject: “You really should’ve thought of that before you became peasants!” Pretty funny line, since no one ever decides to be a disadvantaged peasant.

But here’s one thing you can decide, before your actions put you and your family’s health at a disadvantage: Get reliable information, so you can make an educated decision about vaccinations.

We mention this because of a recent Washington Post story about a Canadian woman with seven children who finally decided to get her kids their vaccinations. But she was too late. They all came down with pertussis -- whooping cough -- before she could act, and were quarantined at home. Fortunately, no one died.

Now, this woman wasn’t an anti-vaxer, but fear-mongering and misinformation in the media caused her to hesitate. She was reported as saying: “We were scared and didn’t know who to trust. Was the medical community just paid-off puppets of a big pharma-government-media conspiracy?” With the 24/7 news cycle and Internet blogs, it’s tough to sort out reliable information. But sort you must.

You can get the facts by going to the websites of the National Institutes of Health (, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ( and you can trust us. We reviewed the risks and benefits in “YOU: Raising Your Child.” Vaccines have risks, but they prevent over 40,000 serious illnesses for every one they might cause. And remember: Knowledge is a key to good health!

Mehmet Oz, M.D. is host of “The Dr. Oz Show,” and Mike Roizen, M.D. is Chief Wellness Officer and Chair of Wellness Institute at Cleveland Clinic. To live your healthiest, tune into “The Dr. Oz Show” or visit