by Teal Graham
There have been many people throughout the United States opting out of getting their children immunized for religious reasons, fear, and personal beliefs. Many believe that good personal hygiene and isolation is the key to keeping children safe and effective in disease prevention. Although teaching your children how to have personal hygiene is definitely a key role to staying healthy, it is only part of a solution in disease prevention.
It is true that newborns are immune to many diseases due to the antibodies they get from their mothers. However, that duration may last only a month to about a year but young children still do not have maternal immunity against some vaccine-preventable diseases, such as whooping cough.
Many parents are refusing to get their babies immunized because they fear that the vaccines cause Autism. It is often reported that the Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs) are connected with vaccines, yet there hasn't been any scientific research to support this belief.. More than 20 published scientific studies conducted in various countries have found no link between vaccines and ASDs.
Having your child immunized protects them from deadly diseases like small pox and pertussis. Although, there have not been any reported cases of small pox breakouts for many years due to vaccinations; Pertussis has been on the incline in recent years. More than 21,000 people, a majority of them children and teens, got pertussis last year.
If a child is not vaccinated and is exposed their body may not be strong enough to fight the disease. Before vaccines, many children died from diseases that vaccines now prevent, such as pertussis, measles, and polio.
Many of these diseases start off like a common cold and can quickly become life threatening, such as diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis (D Tap). The United States averaged more than 175,000 cases of diphtheria each year before vaccines. Since vaccines have been available, diphtheria cases have fallen by over 99.9%. However the disease is not completely gone due poor education about the importance of vaccines.
We have a need for immunizations and it is a parents responsibility to educate themselves about disease prevention and do what is best for their children. Educate yourself and be a part of the solution and protect your babies.