The American Medical Association has asked the CEO’s of top social media companies to help fight vaccine misinformation on their platforms amid a decrease in vaccination rates and an uptick in measles cases – and a Mayo Clinic family medicine physician says childhood vaccinations are important.

“Vaccination prevents a child from getting an illness. It also prevents them from spreading an illness,” explained Dr. Elizabeth Cozine.

Cozine said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has a standard immunization schedule for school-age children that begins with ages 4 to 6, “Which we think of as kindergarten shots, so that’s measles, mumps, rubella, and varicella.”

The next set of routine immunizations is at age 11, which she said includes tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis, and the meningococcal immunization.”

She likens educating parents on the importance of vaccination to seat belt safety and said, “Immunizations are no different. If we have opportunities to protect our children against serious illness and potentially even death — even if the risk of that illness or the risk of death from that illness is really quite low — I’m all for it.”

Dr. Cozine added that if parents have concerns about vaccinations, they should talk to their health care provider.