One of the greatest public health interventions that has had an impact on fighting diseases is vaccination. According to Taber’s Cyclopedic Medical Dictionary, a vaccine is any suspension containing antigenic molecules derived from a microorganism, given to stimulate an immune response to an infectious disease. The 19th century and the 20th century were known for the great achievements of great vaccine scientists such as Louis Pasteur and Edward Jenner. A substantial amount of vaccines prevent illnesses or death caused by infectious diseases for millions of individuals every year. Without vaccinations, infectious diseases would have taken over the world. Childhood vaccinations are important. Why? “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” quoted by Benjamin Franklin-one of our founding forefathers. It is important that your child receive their scheduled vaccinations or as we most commonly use “get their shots”. Childhood vaccinations do start at birth. A childhood vaccination protects the child from diseases, helps contain disease outbreaks, and is the law. Vaccinations protect from life threatening disease such as diphtheria, polio, measles, chickenpox, or pneumococcal. Vaccines are necessary even if we think that the chance of our getting one of these diseases is minimal. A couple of years ago a child in California had just started school, he caught diphtheria and he died. Guess What! He was the only child in his class that had not been vaccinated. If children are not vaccinated against polio, it would leave to more susceptible to infection with the polio virus. Measles is one of the most infectious diseases in the world. From the years 1997-2000, measles were brought here into the United States by international visitors. Those persons that were not immunized were most likely to get measles if they were exposed to the virus. Chickenpox is a highly contagious disease and infants and CHILDHOOD VACCINATIONS3
young children are at a higher risk for bacterial infections, dehydration, and nervous system impairments.
Childhood vaccinations protect those around you as well. There are a small number of people who cannot be vaccinated because of severe allergies to various vaccine components. These people are susceptible to disease and their only protection is that people around them are immune and cannot pass diseases along to them. The bacteria that cause these serious diseases are still out here and children who have not been vaccinated still suffer. Measles is no longer common in this country due to a high immunization level within the community. If the immunization levels decrease, outbreaks of these infectious diseases would occur. Childhood vaccinations have become both federal and state immunization laws that are consistent with a basis tenet of American citizenship. The government has mandated that millions of children receive specific vaccinations for day care and school entry. There are immunization laws in all 50 states that specify what types of vaccinations children must have. What would happen if we stopped vaccinating here in the United States? The diseases that are unknown and no longer commonly acquired would come back and we would see an epidemic of diseases. More children would get sick. Some children may even die.
Vaccines cause SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) and Autism. Some parents and medical providers within society have developed that there is a relationship between government mandated shots and allergies, autism, and mental retardation. According to CST News, Don Boys, PhD, the vaccine of MMR (mumps, measles and rubella), DPT (diphtheria, pertussis and tetanus are especially dangerous. According to www.timesonline.co.uk, Dr. Andrew Wakefield, doctor of gastroenterology, believes that the combination of the three virus (MMR) strains may overload a child’s immune system and cause the bowel disorder to...