Dear Editor,

As a mother of four, one of whom has autism, intellectual disabilities and epilepsy, I celebrate the incredible achievement science provides my children through immunizations.

August is National Immunization Awareness Month, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reminds us that prevention is the key to protecting our children from illness.

I am grateful for immunizations and join public health advocates to combat the myths preventing parents from immunizing their children.

The most popular is the claim that links immunizations to autism. Because of my son’s unique situation, I am familiar with these concerns.

My son’s life is more than a fear tactic used to scare parents away from immunizations. Studies prove there is no link between immunizations and autism. If given the choice to do it over, I would choose my son EXACTLY as he is — protected from vaccine-preventable disease. So, YES, I do support immunizations. I believe in their proven safety and encourage you to do the same.

Because my children are fully immunized, they are protected from 14 potentially harmful diseases. I can send them into the world without worrying about their health. Their immunizations also protect others unable to be immunized because of age or medical conditions.

As parents and community members, we must do our part to maintain public health through immunizations and advocate for their continued success by staying informed and spreading the word. Speak with your pediatrician or pharmacy to ensure that your children are receiving the protection they need.

Amy Smith — Ada, Oklahoma