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Top Reasons To Vaccinate Your Child

by Terry Wilson

Vaccinations play an important role in limiting the spread of serious and even life-threatening vaccine-preventable illnesses, such as measles, polio, and tetanus, just to name a few. With the number of vaccines available now, today's children are better protected than ever before. It is highly recommended to follow the standard vaccination schedule, starting when a child is an infant. Some of the important reasons to vaccinate your child include the following. 

Prevent Your Child from Suffering from a Life-Threatening Disease

Thanks to science, people today are protected from more diseases than ever before due to immunizations that have been developed through copious research and testing. The number of cases of serious and even life-threatening diseases, such as polio, measles, and mumps, have become minuscule in the United States, but that doesn't mean that an unvaccinated person can't become ill with one of these diseases.

The U.S. benefits from a well-developed vaccine program and a high number of people in the country are fully vaccinated. But, vaccine-preventable diseases still exist in relatively large numbers across the world and in less developed nations. Unfortunately, these diseases can be brought into the U.S. by unvaccinated travelers, putting unvaccinated children at risk for transmission of a disease.

Protect Other People in the Community

Getting vaccinated does not just benefit the health of the child receiving immunizations. A vaccinated child also helps protect the health of infants who are too young to be fully vaccinated or people who are unable to be vaccinated due to immune issues or severe allergies to ingredients in a vaccine. This concept is often referred to as herd immunity, and the more people who are vaccinated, the safer those who can't be vaccinated will be.

One example of the need to protect the community by getting children vaccinated is the recent increase in the outbreaks of pertussis, more commonly known as whooping cough, around the country. Pertussis is a vaccine-preventable disease, but young babies can't be fully vaccinated against pertussis until they are several months old. Infants often develop complications if they contract pertussis, and deaths from the disease tend to be highest in babies. 

Make the Future Better

Most people have heard of smallpox, but no one has to worry about this dangerous disease anymore because an aggressive vaccination program has eradicated it worldwide. Vaccinating now may make it possible for future generations to not have to worry about some of the dangerous diseases that people are currently vaccinated for.

For more information, contact your local pediatrician.