I don’t love the idea of taking my girls to the pediatrician for their vaccinations anymore than they like going and being forcibly held down and shot in the thigh. It’s not fun for me to hold them down while they scream and look at me with fear and confusion in their eyes. But…I do it anyway. Why? Because the CDC and the American Academy of Pediatrics – two organizations employing thousands of medical professionals who know far more about the importance of medical vaccinations than I ever will – strongly (and I mean STRONGLY) suggest that I torture my kids in this manner.
The debate surrounding childhood vaccinations is never-ending. More parents than ever before are choosing to completely forgo or delay certain shots. While everyone has an argument; the fact remains that the medical world does not advocate skipping shots. Despite your own personal beliefs – and it’s mine that parents who don’t vaccinate their children are exceptionally careless – here are the facts when it comes to childhood vaccinations.
Lack of Immunizations is Causing a Reoccurrence of Diseases That Were Once Virtually Wiped Out
According to Lance Rodewald, M.D., director of immunization services division at the CDC, approximately 80 to 90 percent of the population needs to be immunized to prevent the spread of infectious disease. This is referred to as herd immunity. Thanks to all the parents who’ve decided not to immunize their children, recent outbreaks of mumps, measles, and the whooping cough are showing up again. These diseases were virtually wiped out. For the parents with the, “I don’t need to vaccinate my child against these diseases because there hasn’t been an outbreak in how long?” mentality – this is precisely the reason you need to vaccinate your children against these diseases.
Fear of Autism
Many parents site their belief that vaccinations are directly responsible to the rise in the number of children diagnosed with autism. However, according to Alison Singer, president of the Autism Science Foundation and the mother of an autistic child, autism is not caused by vaccinations. The research and the facts are there for those who don’t believe.
Risks of Vaccinations
In all fairness, like any other medical procedure, there are certain risks associated with vaccinations. However, according to the medical field, these risks are more favorable than the risks a child faces by not obtaining vaccinations. For example, 11 in 1 million children who receive the DTaP vaccination for will suffer brain swelling. However, this vaccination prevents diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis (whooping cough). One case of every 20 cases of diphtheria is fatal, 1 in every 10 cases of tetanus is fatal and 1 in every 1,500 cases of pertussis is fatal. For my Hunger Games fans, I’d say the odds are ever in your favor to reconsider your decision not to vaccinate your child.