Vaccines are like bike helmets

Dr. Colianni and her daughter
Dr. Colianni and Elena

In addition to being a pediatrician, Dr. Sonja Colianni is a mom who loves her children.

She recently brought her daughter Elena in for a check-up, which included immunizations.

“I vaccinate my children because it is something simple I can do to protect them from harm, and to help protect the children around them,” Dr. Colianni explains. “I view vaccines like bike helmets and seat belts – well worth using because they can prevent serious harm from things we encounter every day.”

Dr. Colianni recommends the same for her patients. “It is clear to me that the benefit of vaccines far outweigh any possible risks. While I have seen several children harmed by vaccine-preventable diseases, I have never seen a negative vaccine reaction that would prevent me from giving them.”

If you have concerns about vaccines, she recommends that you have an honest talk with your child’s physician about your concerns and ask for reliable sources of information.

“As pediatricians and parents it’s our job to protect the health of all children, not just our own. We take that job very seriously.”

To schedule an appointment with Dr. Colianni or any of the pediatricians at Hennepin County Medical Center, call 612.873.6963.

Flu fighting: take the first shot!

No one likes to bring their child to the clinic for shots, but seeing a child suffer from a preventable illness is something no parent wants to experience, either.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recently recommended that children age 6 months and older should get a flu vaccine as soon as possible.

Sheila Ryan Photography 612.673.1156“Earlier is always better to be safe,” explains pediatrician Dr. Stacene Maroushek. “We never know when we will see our flu season start. Some flu seasons start in November or early December, and others don’t peak until March.”

When outbreaks occur earlier (in November or December) and not as many people have been vaccinated, flu can spread like wildfire. That’s why pediatricians like Dr. Maroushek endorse annual flu immunizations for children — and adults.

“Especially hospital staff, school teachers and daycare providers. They should get vaccinated as soon as possible to help reduce the spread of flu.”

Symptoms of influenza include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches and fatigue. According to the Centers for Disease Control, more than 200,000 people are hospitalized each year for flu-related complications.

To schedule a flu shot for you or your child, please call 612.873.6963.