Are Vaccinations Necessary and Safe?

 

 Most of us have had, or are familiar with vaccinations.  But recently there has been much debate whether they are still a necessary and safe.  Some parents are opting out of vaccinating their children because they feel they aren’t necessary any longer and, some believe, can actually lead to disease or possibly autism.

Diseases that used to be common in the U.S. and around the world, like polio, measles, whooping cough, mumps, etc. can now be prevented by vaccination.  Thanks to a vaccine, one of the world’s worst diseases, small pox, no longer exists outside the laboratory.  Over the years, vaccines have prevented many cases of disease and saved millions of lives.  cdc.gov

Vaccines contain the same antigens (or parts of antigens) that cause diseases. For example, measles vaccine contains measles virus. But the antigens in vaccines are either killed, or weakened to the point that they don’t cause disease. However, they are strong enough to make the immune system produce antibodies that lead to immunity. In other words, a vaccine is a safer substitute for a child’s first exposure to a disease. The child gets protection without having to get sick. Through vaccination, children can develop immunity without suffering from the actual diseases that vaccines prevent.  cdc.gov

Myths - businessinsider.com; parenting.com

  • Vaccines can cause serious reactions and even cause the disease they are supposed to protect against
  • Since most kids are already vaccinated, it’s ok if mine aren’t
  • Major disease has been wiped out in this country so there’s no need to vaccinate any longer
  • Good nutrition and natural remedies can protect against disease
  • Vaccine immunity wears off
  • Vaccines cause autism and other disorders

Facts - cdc.gov; parenting.com

  • Newborn babies are immune to many diseases because they have antibodies from their mothers.  However, this immunity goes away during the first year
  • If an unvaccinated child is exposed to a disease, their body may not be strong enough to fight the disease
  • Immunizing individual children helps protect the health of our communities
  • Vaccine preventable diseases have a costly impact; more doctor’s visits, hospitalizations, and premature deaths
  • Vaccines save tens of thousands of American children every year
  • Vaccines wipe out deadly diseases
  • They prevent chronic diseases, including certain cancers
  • There is no credible medical evidence that vaccines causes autism

 What if we stopped vaccinating? cdc.gov

  • Diseases that are almost unknown would stage a comeback and, before long we would see epidemics of diseases that are nearly under control today.  More children would get sick and more would die.
  • We vaccinate to protect our future.  We don’t vaccinate just to protect our children. We also vaccinate to protect our grandchildren and their grandchildren. Vaccines are one of the best ways to put an end to the serious effects of certain diseases.

Visit the Centers for Disease Control for information on:

 Vaccination schedules for children Birth to 6 years

Vaccination and Record Requirements

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