Immunization Spotlight: The Surprising Pros & Cons You Need to Knowby Carissa - August 28th, 2017
As a parent, we will always struggle to do what’s best for our kids. This includes making them eat their veggies, and weighing the pros and cons of vaccination. Did you know thousands of people—kids and adults alike are saved each year through the effective vaccination of killer diseases, such as Polio, Measles, and even Influenza? August is National Immunization Awareness Month (NIAM) and it’s a great time to educate ourselves further about these life-saving preventative medicines.
Truth be told, there are a lot of myths surrounding vaccines and the counter-culture has been growing in recent years. This is likely due to the overwhelming distrust of government in general. However, it is very important we point out the actual science behind vaccines to combat this skepticism and keep devastating diseases like Polio and tuberculosis at bay. This is especially important for people who have asthma, and pregnant women.
WHAT ARE SOME OF THE VACCINE MYTHS?
Vaccination has always had its opposition, since its inception. The root of the matter really stems back to a more anti-establishment / distrust of the government way of thinking. It’s easy to be distrusting when it appears choices are being removed or overwritten. Knowing this sheds some light on this mindset, so let’s take a closer look at the myths surrounding immunizations.
• Vaccines aren’t safe & pharmaceutical manufactures can’t be trusted – The claim is vaccines have never been proven safe. In reality, they are rigorously tested and extremely safe. In fact, there are even government agencies around the world, such as America’s CDC Immunization Safety Office whose job it is to monitor the safety and effectiveness of vaccines.
• Vaccines don’t work – A lot of the anti-vaccine community truly believes that vaccines aren’t effective. However, nothing could be further from the truth. We don’t have huge epidemics of polio or small pox, thanks to immunizations.
• Vaccines cause autism – More than a dozen studies have tried to find a link to autism with immunizations, and the evidence is clear: autism is not caused by vaccines. Yet, this myth prevails. For a large, detailed study on autism and its risks, click here.
• Vaccines contain toxic poisons – While it’s true there are chemicals added to vaccines which, in large doses, would be toxic—these same chemicals are delivered in such minute or trace amounts, they’re considered exceptionally safe for the delivery of the vaccine, while serving their intended purpose. For more information, check out the CDC’s fact sheet on additives and ingredients used in vaccines.
• I’m an adult, so I’m done with vaccines – Did you know immunizations can wear off over time? Not only should adults be getting a yearly flu vaccine to keep up with the way the disease mutates, but you should also make sure to get regular boosters of other vaccines. Talk with your doctor to find out if you have any vaccines that need to be brought up-to-date, especially if it’s been a while, or you’re planning to travel internationally.
REASONS TO GET VACCINATED
While it’s true, people may have some tenderness at the site of an injection, the discomfort is very minimal and severe allergic reactions are uncommon. By understanding the pros drastically outweigh this con, we can ensure our the health and safety for current and future generations. Let’s take a look some of the best reasons to be up-to-date on vaccinations:
• Immunity to deadly diseases – The number one reason to be vaccinated is to provide immunity to yourself and those you love from diseases that once caused mass casualties. Their effectiveness is extremely high with many diseases, in fact most become completely preventable. This is why many schools and daycare facilities require up-to-date vaccinations for children who enter their facility’ program. Infecting other non-vaccinated children can mean missing large spans of time from a school year, or potentially threatening the lives of others.
• Save lives – Not only do you protect your life and those you love, you protect the community at large through immunization. Some diseases that left whole communities crippled are now on the verge of extinction. Through keeping with the recommended immunization schedule, you can also save the lives of children too young to be fully vaccinated yet, those with compromised immune systems, and elderly who may now become more susceptible as their immunity wears thin.
• Eradicate diseases – Vaccines have impacted our health worldwide by reducing and even eliminating diseases. Small pox and polio are no longer a thing, thanks to highly effective vaccinations. As we continue to vaccinate against deadly diseases, their existence is literally being wiped from humanity’s future.
• Save time and money – Sick children and adults means time away from doing the things you love to do. It can also take a financial burden as you try to combat a particular disease. Time off of work, school, or spent in a long-term disability care facility not only reduces your quality of life, but can cost a lot in the long run. It’s easy to assume nothing bad will ever happen to you or those you love. But the reality can be very different. Vaccinating against the host of known preventable diseases is the best way to ensure these financial and time burdens are not a part of your future.
Regardless of age, immunizations are a vital part of keeping everyone in a society healthy and safe from preventable diseases. Advances in medical science has helped us protect ourselves from more diseases than ever before—some which are even nearing or have crossed into extinction. As we continue to advance, immunizations will continue to improve. Not only will we add to the list of diseases we can prevent or cure, but also continue to improve their ingredients and delivery systems. Saving lives and preventing disease is the name of this game – it helps us protect future generations now, as well as work toward eradicating the diseases still around today.
Carissa Andrews is a freelance writer, graphic designer, and author. You can learn more about her at her website.
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