A lot of parents stress over the choice of deciding wither or not to vaccinate their children. The reason why deciding to vaccinate children is so difficult is due to the wide range of myths and side effects that are connected with vaccinations. Examples of myths spread to parents all over the United States is that the diseases don’t even exist anymore, rumors of vaccinations weakening a child’s immune system, and the risk of a child becoming autistic due to thimerisol in vaccinations causing autism.
Side effects also scare parents out of getting their children vaccinated like brain damage, seizures, or allergic reactions. But then parents are pulled back to the thought of the possibility of their child or children catching a very serious life threatening disease. Any of these terrible things occurring in a child’s life makes it very easy for a parent to steer clear of the whole situation, and in ending result, not get their child vaccinated.
When children aren’t vaccinated, they are left defenseless against diseases like hepatitis B, measles, mumps, chicken pox, polio, pertussis (whooping cough), rubella, and more. All these diseases have the ability to easily kill a child within days, and if it weren’t for the vaccines protection over many children in the United States, the spread of these diseases would travel rapidly. There are a lot of people that do not recommend or get vaccinations for children because they think it is unnecessary to vaccinate for a disease that is no longer around.
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But let’s look at the big picture. If everyone stopped getting the vaccinations what would happen? Todd Neale from Medpage today inquires in San Diego 2008, “ Although the rate of two-dose immunization against measles was 95% in the area, a single case of measles from a 7-year-old child returning from overseas sparked an outbreak that exposed 839 people and sickened 11 other children”. If those 839 people weren’t protected with strong immune systems or vaccinations, there would have been a drastic dilemma.
This is a perfect example of how fast a disease can get out of control. When parents think that its o. k. not to vaccinate because the diseases aren’t around anymore, they are really relying on other children who are vaccinated to keep their own children healthy, which is a gamble. In other words, According to the Children’s hospital of Philadelphia, if the immunizations rates drop only a little bit, outbreaks of diseases would sweep across the country rapidly. Another reason parents don’t want to vaccinate is because of the rumor of he vaccinations weakening children’s immune system. According to the Children’s hospital of Philadelphia “If 11 vaccines were given to infants at one time (which they aren’t), then about 0. 1 percent of the immune system would be used up, but because B cells and other lymphocytes are constantly replenished, a vaccine never really uses up a fraction of the immune system. For example, the immune system has the ability to replenish about 2 billion lymphocytes each day. Also a study in Germany revealed that 496 vaccinated and unvaccinated children who received immunizations within the first three months of life had fewer infections with vaccine-related and unrelated pathogens than the non-vaccinated group. So here is the proof that vaccinations will not affect a child’s immune system. Then there is the big scare of vaccines containing the ingredient thimerisol causing autism in children. According to FDA, thimerosal is a mercury containing preservative found in vaccines that prevents bacterial and fungal growth which might occur with repeated puncture of multi dose vials.
A lot of controversy has been held between doctors and parents because of prediction of autism being linked to thimerosal. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Vaccine Safety Datalink, “Preliminary results from the VSD Thimerosal Screening Study published in 2003 did not find an association between thimerosal exposure and autism risk and recent ecological studies has not found a correlation between thimerosal content of vaccines and autism rates”.
Numerous studies by many scientists have been done and prove that Thimerosal and autism are not related. Examples: Vaccine Education Center at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, “Multiple studies have shown that thimerosal in vaccines does not cause autism”. Another reason people do not get their children vaccinated is because of risks associated with getting the vaccinations. Scary examples of some of the side effects associated with vaccinations include: seizures, brain damage, high fevers and even death.
Let’s take the vaccine for hepatitis B as a good example. The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia states, “About one of every 600,000 doses of hepatitis B vaccine is complicated by a severe allergic reaction called anaphylaxis. The symptoms of anaphylaxis are hives, difficulty breathing and a drop in blood pressure. On the other hand, every year about 5,000 people die soon after being infected with hepatitis B virus. According to Car Accident Statistics from Edgar Snyder and Associates,” Each year, lmost 250,000 children are injured in car crashes, meaning nearly 700 kids are harmed every day. But this doesn’t stop people from putting their children in cars. The chicken pox vaccine is another example that side effects are very rare. According to Medic 8, “A macular or accine rash usually consisting of a few lesions at the injection site is reported in 3% of children and 1% of adolescents. Cases of allergic reactions to children are very low and should hold any parent back from getting children vaccinated.
So in conclusion, the diseases that vaccines are made to treat are still around, and it is very easy for a disease to spread. Vaccines do not weaken a child’s immune system because of B cells and lymphocytes being constantly replenished by immune system. Numerous studies have been conducted proving that thimerisol does not cause autism. And The risk of a child having a adverse reaction to a vaccine is so low that its safer than driving down the street in a car. Protect your children from deadly diseases, get them vaccinated.
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