Important reasons you should immunize your child. With the recent measles outbreak, news outlets have been flooded with talk about how you should immunize your child. We understand you want to do the best for your children, but it’s also really important to know the importance of immunizations. Like car seats, baby gates and other ways to keep your kids safe, immunizations are just another way to protect them from harmful viruses that your child’s immune system may not be prepared to handle. Immunizations can save your child’s life. Because of advances in medical science, your child can be protected against more diseases than ever before. Some diseases that once injured or killed thousands of children, have been eliminated completely and others are close to extinction– primarily due to safe and effective vaccines. Vaccination is very safe and effective. Vaccines are only given to children after a long and careful review by scientists, doctors, and healthcare professionals. Vaccines will involve some discomfort and may cause pain, redness, or tenderness at the site of injection but this is minimal compared to the pain, discomfort, and trauma of the diseases these vaccines prevent. Serious side effects following vaccination, such as severe allergic reaction, are very rare. The disease-prevention benefits of getting vaccines are much greater than the possible side effects for almost all children. Immunization protects others you care about. Children in the U.S. still get vaccine-preventable diseases. In fact, we have seen resurgences of measles and whooping cough (pertussis) over the past few years. Since 2010, there have been between 10,000 and 50,000 cases of whooping cough each year in the United States and about 10 to 20 babies, many of which were too young to be fully vaccinated, died each year. While some babies are too young to be protected by vaccination, others may not be able to receive certain vaccinations due to severe allergies, weakened immune systems or other reasons. To help keep them safe, it is important that you and your children who are able to get vaccinated are fully immunized. This not only protects your family, but also helps prevent the spread of these diseases to your friends and loved ones. Immunizations can save your family time and money. A child with a vaccine-preventable disease can be denied attendance at schools or child care facilities. Some vaccine-preventable diseases can result in prolonged disabilities and can take a financial toll because of lost time at work, medical bills or long-term disability care. In contrast, getting vaccinated against these diseases is a good investment and usually covered by insurance. The Vaccines for Children program is a federally funded program that provides vaccines at no cost to children from low-income families. Find out more by talking to your doctor. Immunization protects future generations. Immunizations have reduced and, in some cases, eliminated many diseases that killed or severely disabled people just a few generations ago (example smallpox). By vaccinating children against rubella (German measles), the risk that pregnant women will pass this virus on to their fetus or newborn has been dramatically decreased, and birth defects associated with that virus no longer are seen in the United States. If we continue vaccinating now, and vaccinating completely, parents in the future may be able to trust that some diseases of today will no longer be around to harm their children in the future. Still have questions about immunizations? Talk to your doctor and find out more.
Measles Outbreak: The importance of getting vaccinated Vaccinations are important. On Jan. 16 health officials in Denver alerted the public of a measles exposure in Colorado. Denver Public Health officials believe the person was traveling internationally when they were exposed to measles. What are the measles? Measles, or rubeola, is a viral infection of the respiratory system. It is a very contagious disease that can spread through contact with infected mucus and saliva. An infected person can release the infection into the air when they cough or sneeze. The virus can live on surfaces for several hours. As the infected particles enter the air and settle on surfaces, anyone within close proximity can become infected. Symptoms generally appear within 14 days of exposure to the virus. Symptoms include:
- red eyes
- light sensitivity
- muscle aches
- runny nose
- sore throat
- white spots inside the mouth
- Immunizations Save Lives Immunizations can save your child’s life and protect them against more diseases than ever before. With advances in medical science, diseases that once injured or killed children have been completely eliminated through vaccines. Polio is a great example of this.
- Safe and Effective You may worry that vaccinations may cause pain and discomfort to your child. You may also worry that they may cause serious side-effects. The disease-prevention benefits of vaccines are much greater than any side effects for most children and can save your child’s life.
- Immunizations Also Protect Others Vaccinations prevent disease. If your child is a carrier of a preventable-disease and are not vaccinated, they can pass that disease along to others. It is important to have your child immunized to stop the spread of disease to your loved ones and family members that may be at risk of getting the disease.