Friday, October 3, 2014

Why are vaccines still important in this day and age?

At Pediatric Health, we feel one of the most critical decisions you can make for your child is to vaccinate them. While we appreciate there are conflicting signals sent by some via the internet or television, none of these arguments are valid in the face of the evidence.

If you are on the fence about whether to vaccinate your children or not, you may want to view a PBS program called “Vaccines—Calling the Shots”.    See the link below.

At birth our immune system is immature leaving us at risk for infections.  After two months of age, the protection provided by the mother drops off rapidly. Vaccines help our immune system to be ready to fight critical infections and prevent illness. They also protect the community by not exposing others who may not have the same protection or who have an illness that leaves them at risk—for example a child or adult on chemotherapy.   Many major diseases have been eradicated thanks to vaccines.   This is why some parents feel it unnecessary to vaccinate today.    While vaccines “wipe out” diseases, it doesn’t mean the virus or a bacteria that causes disease is gone, it just means we educated our immune response.

Today we are seeing a resurgence in pertussis (whooping cough) and pregnant women are encouraged to be re-inoculated.   For newborns, whooping cough is especially difficult because not only is their immune system unfamiliar with how to fight the condition, these little ones are most vulnerable because it affects their respiratory system. 

While we may feel the risk of getting a disease such as this is low, the fact of the matter is that many diseases are spread through droplets when we cough or sneeze.   We put our hands over our mouth or nose to contain the spread but then we put our hands on the handle of a shopping cart where the germs can live for a couple of hours…in other words…long enough for several other shoppers to have touched them! 

Generally when diseases see a resurgence, it’s because of people traveling to or from other countries.   On the jet, the air recirculates during the flight continuously.    Visitors to our country shop, eat and visit many of the same places that we do.

We also want to remind you to have your whole family vaccinated against influenza.  This virus remains one of the most significant preventable illnesses that we face in children. While our supplies lately have been lacking, we are able to begin some flu vaccine clinics.

The FDA has a good article for parents on vaccines at:

Here’s the link to the PBS program:
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/body/vaccines-calling-shots.html


Other links:

https://medium.com/the-nib/vaccines-work-here-are-the-facts-5de3d0f9ffd0

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for this excellent article. Vaccinations are so important. My son and his wife just had a baby and they are going to see their pediatrician next week for vaccinations. I'm so glad that they decided to let their baby get vaccinated.

Requiem for an Amy said...

Great post. I hope that it will encourage parents to vaccinate their children.