A young boy receives an immunization shot at a health...

A young boy receives an immunization shot at a health center in this file photo. Autism risk isn't increased by the use of recommended childhood vaccines, U.S. health officials found in a study addressing parent concerns that too many immunizations may cause the disorder. (Sept. 11, 2007) Credit: Getty Images

As a pediatrician in Suffolk County, I find myself challenged daily by parents when they are confronted with the decision to vaccinate their children. I have long believed that our society is one well-written brochure away from 100 percent immunization. However, given the silence of the public health officials around us, the only voice heard is that of the vocal anti-vaccination proponents.

Parents who do not vaccinate their children are playing a game in which the only stakes are the children themselves. Unfortunately, all diseases are rare until your own child has it. Thousands of Americans will suffer, and hundreds will die next year, because they were not properly immunized against re-emerging preventable diseases.

Jenny McCarthy, the comedian and outspoken vaccination critic, performed in Huntington this weekend. I cannot bear the fact that nobody has recognized the terrible thinking behind handing her a microphone to spew bad science.

Dr. Jason B. Hitner, North Babylon