Childhood Vaccinations – Why Shots are Good for your Child

In years past, well-intentioned parents would have been completely scandalized at the idea of their child going without his or her vaccine shots. But with the growing debate about childhood vaccinations as active as ever, today’s parents are often split up into two categories, those who are pro-vaccine and those who are anti-vaccine. The topic has been discussed time and time again on numerous parenting forums and blogs. The root cause of the controversy stems from the alleged side effects that some parents associate with common vaccines, and the number of shots that their newborns and toddlers are supposed to have (up to 20 before the age of 2). This debate has left many parents wondering if it is really necessary for a healthy child to be inoculated against (nearly) nonexistent diseases.

If medical experts are to be believed, the answer is a resounding yes. While the choice can be settled on a case by case basis, depending on your feelings towards the topic, here’s why you might want to reconsider foregoing your kids’ early childhood vaccines.

The Vaccination Debate
The Vaccination Debate

Childhood Vaccinations – Why Vaccines Work

  • Despite being loosely linked to autism, vaccination remains one of the biggest medical breakthroughs as well as the most effective public health measures in history. Intensive vaccination campaigns for baby shots have saved millions of lives and nearly eradicated dreaded childhood diseases such as diphtheria, smallpox, measles and polio. These debilitating diseases were once responsible for thousands of infant deaths every year but have now largely disappeared as a result of regular vaccinations.
  • Many parents who refuse childhood vaccination for their kids argue that vaccination is a personal issue and question what they see as a coercive public health policy. However, vaccination is more than just a personal issue because it involves the health of the entire community in which you and your family live. A community that has gained immunity to preventable diseases through vaccination offers protection to members who are only partly vaccinated or cannot be vaccinated – very young children, elderly people or immuno-compromised persons such as cancer sufferers. Lack of vaccination can thus threaten the concept of community immunity and allow preventable diseases to resurface.

Childhood Vaccinations – Who Should not be Vaccinated?

In some cases, vaccination is inadvisable and even downright dangerous. This would include children with cancer or certain kidney and lung conditions requiring steroid injections or pills. Children who have immune system-related problems should not be given vaccines that have been made with live viruses. Baby shots should be delayed for children diagnosed with nerve disorders but those with minor illnesses such as mild diarrhea, low grade fever, cough or ear infection can safely be inoculated against the major diseases. Children who cannot be vaccinated or those whose vaccination needs to be delayed should be protected, and this means that others have to be vaccinated for preventable diseases.

It is natural for parents to be concerned about their child’s health. However, childhood vaccination has helped kids stay healthy for more than 50 years and its benefits should not be easily dismissed.

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