I don’t Immunize Because…The Truth Behind Infant Immunizations
Immunizations are a hot topic in the media. Many proponents and opponents of vaccines have made their opinions known, sometimes without facts to back up their claims. Each year thousands of children are hospitalized by illnesses that could have been prevented had immunizations been administered.
Since this week is National Infant Immunization Week, it is the perfect time for educating on the importance of vaccines for the prevention of disease. Infancy is a vital time in one’s life for receiving vaccines. By two years of age children should have received vaccines that protect against 14 preventable childhood diseases such as whooping cough and measles.
Since 2010 there have been between 10,000 and 50,000 cases of whooping cough, a highly contagious respiratory infection, diagnosed each year! In the 1950s almost every child developed the measles. Thanks to vaccines, measles diagnoses are a rare occurrence in the U.S. The caveat is when parents choose to not vaccinate their child. Case in point is the measles outbreak that occurred in California and then spread to other states.
The choice to vaccinate or not is a very personal decision, yet parents must understand that their choice affects more than just their child. It affects all of the people that come in contact with them.
So why choose to not vaccinate? Often the reason is fear. Parents want their children to be healthy. They hear that vaccines can cause things like autism and autoimmune disease. This is simply not true. The side effects of vaccines are usually minor and temporary. Vaccines must meet a high level of safety standards before they are safe to administer to the public.
Wanting your child to be safe and healthy is perfectly understandable, however by withholding vaccines the risks of illness far outweigh the small risk of a vaccine side effect. If you would like more information on vaccinating your child, our pediatric providers would be happy to discuss this with you. Contact our office online or by calling 910-486-5437.