Follow the science - get vaccinated - The Explorer: Northwest Chatter

Follow the science - get vaccinated

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Posted: Wednesday, October 16, 2013 4:00 am

Recently, a friend posted a link about vaccinations on Facebook. The link talked about a New York school not allowing a child without vaccinations to attend a public school. The post ended with “fight for our rights.”

This has been a longstanding issue for me for many reasons. My main question is how a person who refuses to get vaccinated should have the right to make so many others sick while attending public schools or events? I agree with the New York school – if you don’t want to vaccinate your children, don’t attend public school.

Scientists, doctors and so many others have proven time and again vaccinations are important. We shouldn’t ignore it, especially given data that shows some diseases are becoming extinct because we have vaccinations.

On Sept. 1 in North Texas, about 21 people, most of whom were not immunized, were diagnosed with measles. The outbreak started at what many news outlets called a vaccine-skeptical megachurch.

At one point, it was declared that measles had been eliminated in the U.S. However, as more people become weary of vaccinations, the outbreak has returned. This time, the first case in Texas came from a man who had recently taken a trip to Indonesia.

While some may be against vaccinations, or believe they are harmful and cause issues such as autism, it appears that the benefits of getting your children vaccinations as recommended by actual science results in a healthier society as a whole.

To learn more about getting vaccinated, visit the website at www.vaccines.gov. According to the website, below are five reasons why all children should be vaccinated.

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. One example of the great impact that vaccines can have is the elimination of polio. Polio was once America’s most-feared disease, causing death and paralysis across the country, but not today.

Vaccination is 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.

Immunization protects others you care about.

Children in the U.S. still get vaccine-preventable diseases. Experts have seen resurgences of measles and whooping cough (pertussis) over the past few years.

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.

Immunization protects future generations.

Vaccines have reduced and, in some cases, eliminated many diseases that killed or severely disabled people just a few generations ago. For example, smallpox vaccination eradicated that disease worldwide. Children don’t have to get smallpox shots anymore because the disease no longer exists. 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.

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