Few issues are as divisive among parents as vaccinations. It is no longer the case that all children are vaccinated. Unfortunately, more parents are opting out of these important safeguards for their children due to reading erroneous medical literature, hearing horror stories attributed to vaccinations, and wanting more control over how they raise their children. By the time today’s infant starts school, fewer of his or her classmates may be vaccinated than at any other time since vaccinations were introduced in the United States.
Vaccines Save Lives
While most parents are willing to do anything to keep their children safe, some overlook the importance of ensuring they receive all of their vaccinations on schedule. According to vaccines.gov, following your doctor’s advice about vaccinations could actually save your child’s life. You are fortunate to live in a time when medical science offers protection from more diseases than previous generations of parents ever thought possible. Polio, which is now virtually eliminated thanks to vaccines, used to kill and permanently cripple thousands of children every year. Parents must be vigilant about vaccinations in order for polio and other serious diseases to remain eradicated.
Vaccines Save Money
Vaccinating on schedule is also good for your family’s finances. If you delay some vaccinations or opt-out entirely, you may not be able to enroll your child in daycare or school. You then have to spend time and resources searching for a new place that may allow you an exemption. If the worst happens and your child contracts a vaccine-preventable disease, treating the resulting disabilities will be costly in several ways. Vaccines do not have to be expensive when you arrange for high-quality health care service available from IMU Southwest, the Immunization Clinic. If you can’t afford the fee or don’t have insurance, ask about alternative resources.
Vaccines are Safe and Effective
Every new vaccine that becomes available has undergone an extensive review by scientists, doctors, and other healthcare professionals. As with all medical procedures, some children experience side effects when receiving their vaccines. The most common ones include mild discomfort, tenderness, and redness at the site of the injection, and increased irritability for the next 24 hours. However, these problems are minor compared to contracting a disease that could seriously injure or even kill your child. Serious complications, while they do exist, are extremely rare.
Vaccines Protect Other People
When large numbers of parents refuse to vaccinate on schedule or at all, it puts everyone else at risk. This is especially true for infants too young for vaccinations, people with certain allergies, and those with weakened immune systems due to illnesses like leukemia. In 2010, the Centers for Disease Control reported 21,000 cases of whooping cough, with 26 of them fatal. The majority of those who died were babies under six months of age who had not yet received their vaccination and depended on herd immunity to keep them safe.
High Immunization Rates May Eradicate Some Diseases Entirely
A few generations ago, smallpox killed and maimed people at an alarming rate. The disease no longer exists today solely because of vaccinations. That means that your children don’t even need a vaccination for it. The same can be true for future generations if we continue to vaccinate against whooping cough, measles, mumps, rubella, and other modern health concerns.
This article was contributed on behalf of IMU Southwest, the Immunization Clinic that provides affordable travel vaccines. Check out their website today and see how they can help you!