February 12, 2014
Why Vaccines are Important to Maintaining a Healthy World
When people become a parent, for the first time, they need to be ready to make a lot of decisions. Are you going to breastfeed or bottle feed, are you going to keep your baby quarantined for a few months or immediately start taking them out in the public, are you going to use organic homemade baby foods or will you buy baby food from the store. It truly seems like you are constantly making big decisions that could have a positive or negative effect on your child at every turn. The one decision that most parents do not struggle with is whether to immunize their child or not. For most parents, vaccinating their child is done without much thought. However, there are a handful of parents that struggle with this decision. They know of a child that has had a negative outcome with vaccines or they have seen on the news a recall of vaccines and they start to worry whether they are making the right choice in immunizing their children. But the outcome of not immunizing children has far reaching effects. Ultimately, people that support vaccinating their children are making a decision to keep the world a safer place.
Reducing and eliminating the diseases that vaccines prevent is one of the top achievements in the history of public health. It is because of this hard work that most people have never seen the devastating effects that diseases like polio, measles or whooping cough (pertussis) can have on a family or community. It is easy to think of these as diseases that only existed in the past, but the truth is they still exist. Children in the United States can, and do, still get some of these diseases. In fact, when vaccination rates drop in a community, it is not uncommon to have an outbreak. For example, preliminary data for 2012 show that more than 41,000 cases of whooping cough were reported in the United States. During this time, eighteen deaths have...