Right from the day, we are born, we are immediately exposed to a number of different viruses, microbes, and other bacteria. Some of them are beneficial for our organism, some of them are harmful, but some can cause us serious trouble. One thing that protects us from all of that is our body’s immune system. When it is getting exposed to an infection, the immune system raises various protection mechanisms of our body, minimizing the damage the infection is going to cause us. According to the WHO, vaccine hesitancy is named as one of the 10 top threats to global heath in 2019. The most interesting and at the same time important thing about the immune system is once you get exposed to a certain infectious disease, on most occasions will give you lifelong protection of that particular disease. Your immune system has a good memory.
Let us take a look at some of the main reasons why you should be vaccinating your child.
It is the safest and effective protection out there
Vaccines are not performed randomly to anyone. Before giving a vaccine, your child will be reviewed carefully by various doctors and health specialists. Once performed, vaccines can cause some itching, pain, and redness, but this is nothing in comparison to trauma and risk disease of someone who has not had it, so you should not be worried about the immediate consequences.
Serious side effects, such as severe allergic reaction are extremely rare and almost never happen. The benefits your child will get after taking a vaccine are much greater than the vague possibility of the serious side effects. “Vaccines are the tugboats of preventive health,” said William Foege, epidemiologist credited with the helping design the vaccine strategy to eliminate smallpox during the 1970s.
It will not only save your child’s health but also your time and money
If your child will have a vaccine-preventable disease, he can be denied attendance in some of the child care and school facilities. These type of diseases can result in prolonged and serious disabilities and will take a serious financial toll out of your pocket, because of lost time at work, various medical bills and health-care centers. In contrast to all of that, the vaccine is easy to perform and is also a good investment, since most of the times it gets covered by your insurance.
Take a look at the Vaccines for Children program, which is a federally funded program that provides vaccines at a zero cost for children from low-income families. “The return on investment in global health is tremendous, and the biggest bang for the buck comes from vaccines. Vaccines are among the most successful and cost-effective health investments in history,” said Seth Berkley, CEO of GAVI, the Vaccine Alliance.
It will make your child’s immunity system stronger
Our immune system is getting prepared even when we are still in the womb, to tackle different microbes that we will encounter after birth. Vaccines use the smallest part of a child’s immune capacity and burden the immune system to a much lesser degree than other common infections out there, such as cold for example. Therefore infants especially tolerate vaccines well, even including getting several vaccine procedures at once.
Because of the modern advances in medical science, the child can now be protected from more diseases than ever before. Some of the diseases the in the past were able to injure or even kill thousands of children all around the globe, are now either have been completely eliminated or very close to extinction, and this is achieved primarily due to the vaccine procedures.
Take a look at polio, for example, and how much of an impact vaccine procedure made on it in the United States. It was considered one of the most dreadful diseases just a while ago, causing paralysis and even death across the country, but nowadays thanks to vaccine procedure, there are no more reports of this disease whatsoever. “The reward for work well done is the opportunity to do more,” said Jonas Salk, creator of the inactivated polio vaccine.
It can also protect other people that you care about
Even with everything listed above, children in the United States are still getting vaccine-preventable diseases. We have seen whooping cough as well as resurgences of measles over the past years, for instance. Since the year 2010, there have been somewhere between 10,000 to 50,000 cases of whooping cough each year in the United States as well as 10 to 20 babies, some of which were still being too young to be fully vaccinated, that have died each year.
So while some of the children are still too young to get fully vaccinated, some of the other kids may not be able to get certain vaccines due to the severe allergies, weakened immune systems, etc. To keep these other children safe, it is important that you and your family get fully vaccinated so that you cannot spread those diseases any further. By protecting your family, you are also protecting others that are around you, leading to a healthier and more immune nation. “Imagine the action of a vaccine not just in terms of how it affects a single body, but also in terms of how it affects the collective body of a community,” said Eula Biss, author of On Immunity.
It is safe to say at this point that everyone one of us needs vaccines. They are needed for infants, children, teenagers, and adults. And there are widely accepted immunization schedules available, with the precise list of what vaccines are needed, and at what age they should be given. Latest sophisticated medical software solutions allow a better, more responsive and more effective treatment against both virus and bacteria diseases. It is recommended that children receive at least 14 different vaccines before their sixth birthday. Some of these come in a series of shots and some are combined so they can be administered together with fewer shots.
The American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) believes that immunization is essential to preventing the spread of contagious diseases and an important part of life for our healthy society. They offer vaccination recommendations, immunization schedules, and complete information on disease-specific vaccines.