The Significance of Immunizations
Our health is our wealth. A familiar phrase, yet the significance of health cannot be truly appreciated until faced with a serious illness. Some illnesses cannot be prevented, but others can.
If there is no greater wealth than our health, it is critical to understand the life-saving measures that are available to us, specifically immunizations.
Benefits of Vaccines Outweigh the Risks
Immunizations have gotten a bad rap and much publicity over the years due to confusing reports made by often unqualified individuals. Fear that the risks of receiving a vaccine outweigh the benefits is a dangerous misconception. According the the World Health Organization, while vaccines are known to cause minor, temporary side effects such as soreness or fever, there is little evidence linking vaccination with permanent health problems or death. The risk of having complications from one of the vaccine preventable illnesses is much higher than any serious complication from immunizations.
Vaccines can Prevent Cancer
The HPV vaccine is the only vaccine currently available that can prevent cancer. HPV is a very common virus. Why risk your child’s health by not giving them the vaccine? Recommended for both boys and girls, the two-injection series should begin at 11 or 12 years of age. It can be started as early as 9 or as late as 45, although depending on the age started, a three-injection series may be required.
The Risks of Traveling Unvaccinated
Traveling should be an exciting adventure. Common illnesses can be rampant on airplanes and airports and other public places, but more serious illnesses also become a threat to the unvaccinated. Additionally, not getting vaccinated places unnecessary risk on people whose health conditions prevent them from receiving vaccines. Remember the measles outbreak linked to Disneyland that happened in 2015? The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports that the outbreak likely started from a traveler who became infected overseas with measles and then went to Disneyland. Measles can spread when it reaches communities of people who are unvaccinated.
Vaccine-preventable Diseases are Still Around
In recent history it was believed by many that Typhoid was a thing of the past. The reality is that there are more than 21-million cases of Typhoid fever each year and more than 200,000 deaths. Guess how you can prevent this bug from getting you? A vaccine, but it is only necessary if you plan to travel to areas such as India or Egypt where there is a higher likelihood of exposure to sewage-contaminated water. Many other illnesses can be spread by people coming into our country who have been exposed. Some of these include Diphtheria, Measles, Mumps, Rubella and Pertussis.
Vaccines are Safe
Despite misconceptions, vaccines are safe. Vaccines are only given to people after they have completed a long and thorough evaluation by doctors, scientists and other healthcare professionals. Concerned about vaccines causing autism? The most comprehensive scientific studies and reviews have not found a link between vaccines and autism and leading experts including the CDC and National Institute of Health (NIH) agree that vaccines are not the cause for the amount of children diagnosed with autism.
It is normal to fear needles and the unknown, but trust the years of data that show the significant positive impact vaccines have on health. Follow the CDC’s recommended vaccine schedule and schedule your child’s immunization today with their pediatric provider today.