World immunization week is celebrated in the last week of April. It is intended to promote what the World Health Organization calls one of the most powerful tools for good health…vaccines.
Dr. Lesley Motheral, a pediatrician and Texas Tech Physician says people forget that childhood vaccines don't just protect kids; they protect every woman who is pregnant.
"Many of these illnesses that these vaccines protect against, cause extremely high fevers if someone contracts the illness. So, when a pregnant mother has a high fever, we're concerned that it affects the developing brain, and every pregnant woman knows what their doctor says, 'No hot tubs'. We don't want your body temperature getting too high, because we want to protect the developing fetus," says Dr. Motheral.
That is a big part of why children are required to get the MMR, or measles mumps and rubella vaccine before entering school.
Dr. Motheral says if a child is infected, and gives it to a woman who is pregnant, her child could be born deaf, blind, or with any number of birth defects.