Why is it Important To Vaccinate Your Child?

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As a parent, you certainly want to do what is best for your child. You know about the importance of keeping them safe and protecting them from any harm. But did you know one of the best ways to protect your children is to make sure that they are up to date with all of their vaccinations?


Reasons to Vaccinate Your Child

Disease Prevention

Vaccines can protect your child from serious and life-threatening diseases. They help by preventing the spread of infectious diseases within communities.


Public Health

Some diseases have been eliminated through vaccination and public health efforts. Polio is an example of a life-threatening disease that caused a lot of deaths and paralysis. Thankfully due to vaccination, there are only a few reports of polio. Today the poliovirus remains endemic in only two countries – Afghanistan and Pakistan. Vaccination contributes to herd immunity, which occurs when a significant number of the population is immune to a disease. This in return protects those who cannot be vaccinated, such as individuals with certain chronic diseases or allergies.


Prevention of Outbreaks

Getting vaccinated is crucial in preventing outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases. When a large percentage of the population gets vaccinated, the spread of infectious diseases is significantly curtailed. Therefore it is highly essential to get vaccinated to protect ourselves and our communities from deadly diseases.


Economic Impact

By vaccinating your child it helps to reduce the healthcare costs associated with treating preventable diseases. Fewer cases mean fewer hospitalisations and medical treatment that are associated with costs, contributing to healthcare savings. Controlling and eliminating diseases through vaccination is essential for international trade and travel. Maintaining a strong vaccination program is crucial for international trade and travel. Without proper vaccination programs countries are likely to experience severe disruption in commerce and tourism in the event of a disease outbreak.


Which Diseases Show The Impact of Vaccines The Best?

Smallpox was one of the most feared diseases, which killed hundreds of millions of people over 3000 years. However today it is completely eradicated from the world, thanks to the widespread immunisation efforts.


Can Vaccines Cause Disease?

It is a common argument found in anti-vaccine literature that vaccines are not effective, citing the fact that those who have been vaccinated often outnumber those who have not during an outbreak, even with vaccines such as measles, which are known to be 98% effective when used as recommended. In reality, no vaccine is 100% effective, and in high-income countries, the number of vaccinated individuals vastly outnumber those who are not.


What Are Some of The Most Common Myths About Vaccines?

Vaccines Aren’t Safe

Vaccines are proven to be extremely safe, with a low risk of serious complications and allergic reactions. Most claims about vaccination safety and side effects are unscientific and false. Vaccines go through rigorous safety testing, including trials before they are approved for the public. Once the vaccine meets the rigorous quality and safety standards countries can then be able to register and distribute the vaccine. After registering and distributing the vaccine, close monitoring of the vaccine safety is of high importance.


Vaccines Are Toxic

False, each ingredient in a vaccine serves a purpose to keep the vaccine safe, effective and long-lasting.

  •         The Antigen is known as an inactive/ weakened form of a bacteria or virus. It is used to stimulate the immune system to produce an immune response. The purpose of the antigen through vaccination is to enable the immune system to identify and remember specific pathogens. Therefore, if the person is exposed to the actual pathogen later, the immune system can mount a prompt and effective response.
  •         Adjuvants help vaccines to work better, by boosting our body's immune response to the antigen. They work by stimulating a more robust and longer-lasting immune reaction.
  •         Preservatives are added to some vaccines to prevent the overgrowth of fungi or bacteria that could potentially contaminate the vaccine. Vaccine safety is continuously monitored, and the benefits outweigh any minimal risks.
  •         Stabilisers are added to vaccines to help maintain the stability and effectiveness of the vaccine over time. They contribute by preventing the degradation of the vaccine and ensuring it remains safe until its expiration date.


Vaccines Cause Autism

The myth of a possible link between MMR vaccine and autism grew out of a study by Andrew Wakefield that researchers published in The Lancet. Thereafter epidemiological studies were conducted, which found no evidence of a link between MMR vaccination and autism. Wakefield’s study was later found to be flawed and fraudulent. Current researchers say that autism disorder cannot be explained by a single cause, but rather due to a combination of developmental, genetic and environmental factors.


Vaccinated Children Cause Outbreaks

This is false since immunisation was proven to save between 2 to 3 million lives yearly. However, in rare instances, a disease may spread despite the population being vaccinated. Some diseases, especially viruses change and evolve, which impacts the effectiveness of the vaccine. 

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