Zuckerberg reignites vaccination debate on FB

Posted at 4:26 PM, Jan 11, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-11 17:26:26-05

Just three days after posting a picture to Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg has reignited the debate over vaccines.

The photo is of Zuckerberg posing with his daughter inside a doctor's office. It's captioned, "Doctor's visit -- time for vaccines!"


Doctor's visit -- time for vaccines!

Posted by Mark Zuckerberg on Friday, January 8, 2016

While some people publicly praised Zuckerberg on Facebook for getting his daughter vaccinated, others condemned him for it.

Dr. Natasha Burgert, a pediatrician with Pediatric Associates, is among those who commend him.

While some parents are at odds with each other over the decision to vaccinate, Burgert said it's an emotional decision that should be made based off hard evidence, despite how valid some information might seem. For instance, some people suggest there's no need to get vaccinated for diseases that are nearly eradicated in the United States. It's a theory that makes Burgert nervous.

"I just talked to two parents this morning that are going to Belize where there are many of these diseases that are still endemic," Burgert said. "Diseases are literally just a plane ride away."

She points to the measles outbreak that happened last year. It began at Disneyland and spread to half a dozen states, Mexico and Canada, infecting nearly 150 people.

Burgert said the only way to keep potentially fatal diseases out of the U.S. is to keep the vaccination rate high.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in Missouri for the 2014-2015 school year, more than 95 percent of enrolled kindergartners were vaccinated. While not all kindergartners were surveyed in Kansas, of the ones who were, more than 89 percent of them were also vaccinated.

However, there are instances when it's not recommended for a child to receive certain vaccines.

"We certainly have kids that have immune deficiencies that are fighting cancers - that have other medical indications to not get vaccinated," Burgert said. "Those kids are very, very few."

According to Burgert, 99 percent of children are able to get vaccinated.

When it comes to vaccines, the World Health Organization has created a list to help parents filter the facts from the myths.


Jessica McMaster can be reached at

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