Posted on: 15 May 2019
Thanks in large part to misinformation and a discredited study in which one doctor falsely linked vaccines to autism, the number of children receiving vaccines in the United States has dropped dramatically. The result has been catastrophic. In the year 2000, measles was officially considered an eliminated disease in the United States. Fast forward nineteen years later and between January and May 2019 alone, there were 764 reported cases of measles. Childhood immunization is an absolutely essential part of preventative medicine. Here are three reasons why it's so important.
They Protect Your Child's Life
The number one reason that every parent should ensure their child receives vaccinations is because those immunizations can save your child's life. Because we live in a world with such advanced medicine, it's easy to forget that not so long ago a child's life was constantly threatened by diseases like polio, measles, mumps, tuberculosis, rubella, etc. In fact, in the year 1800, 43% of the world's children died before the age of five. Thanks to vaccines and other advances in medicine, that rate has fallen dramatically. In 2015, the worldwide child mortality rate was down to 4.3%.
They Provide Herd Immunity
Another essential reason to ensure your children receive vaccinations is because immunization helps to protect everyone else around you. It's called herd immunity, or a community's resistance to the spread of a disease based on the immunity of those who have received vaccines in the community. A good example of the effectiveness of herd immunity is the dramatic reduction of polio. Since 1988, the number of polio cases reported worldwide has been reduced by 99%. Without the vaccine, the disease would have paralyzed 17 million people in that time. The Americas, Europe, South East Asia, and the Western Pacific regions are currently considered polio free.
Despite Misinformation, Vaccines Are Safe
Every vaccine on the market today goes through rigorous safety screenings and tests before it is recommended for use. The United States has one of the most advanced systems for monitoring vaccine safety in the world, the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System or VAERS, used by scientists at the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control. Even after a vaccine is approved, it continues to undergo monitoring. Though a child may experience some mild side effects like swelling or redness at the injection site, the side effects are much less serious than the diseases the vaccines are designed to protect against. Feel free to contact your medical provider or someone like Dr Sanaz Khorrami, M.D. for more information.Share