Dear Editor,

Regarding the article published: “More Oklahoma parents opting out of vaccinations.”

As a pediatrician, I am alarmed that more parents are opting out of vaccinations. I have been in practice for over 50 years and, unfortunately, have witnessed first hand how diseases such as whooping cough, measles and chicken pox can have devastating and long-lasting consequences. The reason our families and communities very rarely see these diseases is because vaccines did what they were intended to do. They worked. They saved lives. They gave us more time with our loved ones.

The vast majority of medical professionals agree with the multiple research studies that show immunizations are safe and effective. The safety and well-being of my patients is my top priority, and having unvaccinated children in my community puts my patients at risk, especially those who are either too young to be immunized or unable to be immunized due to underlying issues.

For those parents who are hesitant or fearful, I urge you to talk to your health care provider about your fears. For those parents who have already made the decision to opt out, I plead with you to reconsider. The health of our entire community depends on it.

Tawfik Ramadan, MD, Ada