Most parents don’t look forward with joy to taking their children for shots, the word dreaded comes to mind. Anytime our children hurt or are uncomfortable it causes us pain as well. So why do we vaccinate our children? Have you considered other benefits to immunizations? There is a great article on the CDC website (www.cdc.gov/vaccines/partners/childhood/matte-articles-5-reasons.html)
that lists 5 reasons why immunizations are important.
- Immunizations can save your child’s life. Immunizations literally save lives. The once feared disease Polio is a great example. Since 1979 the United States has been Polio free because of immunizations. Polio was greatly feared because of the paralysis and death that it caused. As a population we do not need to fear it and know that when our children are vaccinated they are protected.
- Vaccines are safe and effective. The vaccines our children receive have been studied extensively and found safe. Many people have opinions about the safety of immunizations but caution should be taken where we get our information to form our own opinions. Always study reputable material and if questions remain your healthcare provider can be a great source. As always the benefit of vaccinations far out weight the possible and rare side effects.
- Immunization protects others you care about. Diseases that are preventable with immunizations still occur in our community. A recent occurrence in our community and state was Hepatitis A. This illness if severe enough can cause liver failure. Babies less than one year old cannot be immunized for Hepatitis A. When those that are able to be immunized receive their shots a condition call “herd immunity” occurs which protects babies and others who cannot be have this immunization.
- Immunizations can save your family time and money. With immunizations we prevent diseases that can keep our children from going to school and daycare. Some of the diseases that are prevented could cause medical bills and disability which can put financial stress on a family.
- Immunization protects future generations. With the use of vaccines disease rates have declined and some eliminated. Young parents today never had to have the Smallpox vaccine, with the help of immunizations it has been eradicated. What could be the next disease to be eradicated? Every time we vaccinate a child or adult the chances of eliminating a disease is greater and the health of that person has been improved. Vaccines have improved lives for the better, and continue to do so.
For more information about the importance of infant immunization, visit CDC’s vaccine website for parents.