In recent times, the topic of whether or not to vaccinate children has become quite controversial. It is understandable — on the macro level, it involves containing the spread of infectious diseases, and on a personal scale it includes allowing our own small children to be injected with medicine. This can be challenging for any parent, and it is important to know as much as you can about immunization in order to do what’s best for your family.
In the age of rapidly shared misinformation, it isn’t surprising that finding clear answers about immunization is no easy task. Just seconds into browsing the web for information about vaccines, one can be exposed to numerous largely debunked falsehoods about vaccines.
In this article, we will simply examine some of the main reasons someone might or might not choose to vaccinate their baby.
Vaccines Save Lives
According to experts, most childhood vaccines are 90%-99% effective in preventing diseases. And Shot@Life, a United Nations Foundation partner organization, estimates that vaccines save 2.5 million children from preventable diseases every year.
Serious Reactions are Rare
The most common of all adverse reactions to vaccines, anaphylaxis, occurs only in 1 person out of hundreds of thousands of vaccinations.
Vaccines Save Money
Compared to the costs of treating critical illnesses that may be prevented by vaccines, the cost of the vaccinations themselves are significantly low. There are also huge costs to society that are presumed to be saved drastically by containing infectious diseases early.
Vaccines Are Considered Safe by Major Medical and Peer-Reviewed Scientific Organizations
Herd Immunity Prevents Outbreaks
“Protecting the herd,” or Herd Immunity is the idea that when enough people are vaccinated, an outbreak of a particular disease is far less likely to occur.
Here are the main concerns that people unsure about vaccines generally have:
Some side effects do occur following vaccination. They are mostly mild, but can include pain and swelling at the site of the shot, mild fever, chills, fatigue, and general aching. These generally do not last more than a day or two. As noted above, serious side effects are very rare, but this still causes concern for many parents. It should also be noted here that while many people have suggested that vaccines cause other serious diseases or disabilities, numerous scientific studies have found no evidence to support this claim.
Concerns about Ingredients
Ingredients such as formaldehyde, thimerosal, stabilizers, adjuvants are harmful in large quantities. However, the low amount of these ingredients used in vaccines is considered to be safe by most medical organizations. If your child has a known serious allergy to any of the ingredients in a vaccine, it will likely be advised by your doctor to not administer that vaccine to your child.
If you have concerns about vaccinating your child, it is crucial to have your questions answered by a trusted medical professional.
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