Immunizations are among the greatest health achievements of the 20th century. Yet, despite the obvious benefits that vaccines offer, some people remain doubtful about the use of vaccines. These doubts may arise due to misconceptions from unreliable sources, personal beliefs, safety concerns, and a desire to receive more information from medical professionals.
This National Immunization Awareness Month 2022, highlights the benefits of vaccines and addresses any concerns you may have about them.
A vaccine helps your immune system recognize and fight off certain germs that can cause disease. Vaccines contain tiny amounts of a germ or its protein. When given to the body, they start to build up antibodies against that germ so that if your child encounters it in real life, they will have protection against disease.
Vaccine hesitancy continues to be a concern in many communities, with many parents choosing not to vaccinate their children. The term “Vaccine hesitancy” describes anyone skeptical of vaccinations and delays or refuses them even when vaccinations are widely available. But what happens if your child doesn’t get immunized?
If you choose not to vaccinate your child, you’re putting them at risk for serious and potentially fatal diseases such as:
|Measles||Pneumonia. brain swelling, brain damage, or worse, fatality.|
|Mumps||Rare but can lead to meningitis, deafness, and swelling of the ovaries or testicles.|
|Chickenpox||Pneumonia, encephalitis, sepsis, dehydration, bacterial infection, dehydration|
|Rubella (German Measles)||The risks are high for pregnant women. A baby born with congenital rubella syndrome is at an increased risk of developing hearing loss, eye problems, liver disease, brain damage, and heart defects.|
|Polio||Infection in the spinal cord and brain that can lead to paralysis.|
|Pertussis||Pneumonia; brain inflammation, seizures, and fatality are rare complications|
|Tetanus||Muscle stiffness, breathing problems, and lockjaw; rare but can be fatal|
|Rotavirus||Severe diarrhea, abdominal pain, dehydration|
|Pneumococcal||Meningitis, sinusitis, ear infections, and pneumonia|
|Meningococcal infection||Meningitis, ear infections, pneumonia, and arthritis. Rare complications include hearing loss, brain damage, and limb amputation; it can also be fatal.|
|Hepatitis A & Hepatitis B||Liver damage|
|Hib||Damage to the brain, hearing loss, and Hib can be fatal as well|
|Influenza||Hospitalization, pneumonia, sinusitis, ear infections|
|Diphtheria||Failure of the heart, paralysis, and it can be fatal.|
Unvaccinated children put other people at risk of infection. This can lead to serious health complications for children who cannot receive vaccinations, including immunocompromised individuals and young babies who cannot be vaccinated.
Immunocompromised people rely on “herd immunity” — when most people in a community are immune to a disease, it’s harder for it to spread. But when herd immunity breaks down because not enough people are vaccinated against certain diseases, outbreaks can happen more easily. That’s why everyone who can get immunized should do so to protect those most vulnerable to these diseases.
If your child catches a vaccine-preventable disease and becomes ill, they might need to go to a hospital for treatment or stay home from school. This means that other parents will have to take time off work to care for their sick children instead of going to work themselves, costing businesses money and disrupting the economy.
The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) recommends that children receive a full course of vaccinations. The first dose of each vaccine is given at birth or age two months, with additional doses needed to complete the series. Below is a list of vaccinations recommended for children from birth to 18 years.
As parents, it’s natural to have questions about vaccines. This section will answer some of the most common questions about the risks and benefits of vaccines.
The decision not to vaccinate your child is a personal one. But know that it also carries many risks that may be detrimental to your child and the community’s health. Read more information about the importance of vaccines.
Vaccine risks for kids are rare. A few side effects can occur after a vaccine, but they’re usually mild and go away quickly. These side effects include low-grade fever, swelling, and redness on the injection site. If your child suffers from a serious allergy to gelatin, eggs, or neomycin, they may be at risk for a reaction if they get an injectable vaccine. Talk to your child’s doctor about such allergies before vaccinating them.
There is some concern among parents that vaccines could cause autism, but vaccines DO NOT cause it or any other developmental disabilities. Many scientific studies have thoroughly debunked this myth.
Doctors and researchers constantly monitor vaccine safety. All vaccines undergo extensive safety testing before being approved for use in the United States, with continuous monitoring by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and independent organizations following their release to the market.
Yes. Simultaneous vaccination with multiple vaccines has no adverse effect on the normal childhood immune system. A baby’s immune system can handle more than you might realize. Their immunity system can fight germs far outnumber those they receive from vaccines. As a matter of fact, vaccines contain only a tiny fraction of the bacteria babies have exposure to every day.
Vaccines are safe and work with your child’s immune system to help keep your child healthy. The best way to ensure your child gets all recommended vaccines on time is by regularly visiting their doctor or clinic throughout infancy and childhood.
If your child is behind on their immunization schedules, contact us right away here at CMCFresno! Let’s spread the benefits of immunizations even beyond immunization awareness month. Please save this article and share it with your family and friends.