The Importance of Vaccinating Your Child
There has been much public discussion in recent years about whether vaccinating or immunizing children against infectious diseases when they’re young results in greater instances of conditions such as autism. Simply put, vaccination does not cause autism, though it has been subject to a misinformation campaign by celebrities and other critics.
We at Bootin and Savrick Pediatrics are always ready to discuss your concerns about medicine, including vaccines. But in order for parents to make informed, educated decisions about their children’s health, they must rely only on reliable, factual information — and we are here to provide that.
The World Health Organization describes immunization as one of the most successful and cost-effective public health interventions available, preventing between 2-3 million deaths each year. Vaccination has, for example, reduced global measles mortality by 84%, almost eradicated polio worldwide, and nearly eliminated meningitis in Africa. Even so, WHO estimates that an additional 1.5 million deaths could be avoided each year if global vaccination coverage were to improve.
People today avoid these diseases and others in large part because of vaccinations they received during childhood. However, for immunization to work, vaccines must be used by a large enough portion of the population to prevent diseases from reaching a critical mass in a given area and becoming an epidemic. This concept is so universally understood that, today, many daycares and preschools will not allow children to attend if they have not been properly vaccinated.
Most of the concerns one hears about vaccine safety are grounded in fear and misunderstanding, as opposed to science and fact. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control, for example, states conclusively that there is “no link” between receiving vaccines and developing autism.
If you are a parent with concerns about vaccination safety, we are happy to discuss this at any time. The American Academy of Pediatrics website, HealthyChildren.org, provides some additional helpful information and resources about the importance of vaccinating your children.