Needles aren’t pleasant, but when lifesaving immunizations are inside, they’re a necessary evil. Vaccinations can ultimately help to keep your kids—and those around them—safe from harmful diseases.
We realize vaccinations are a contentious topic. As a parent, you’re entitled to the decision you think is right for your kids. However, at SafeWise we believe vaccinations save lives. Here’s why they’re important.
The Benefits of Vaccines
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) stats speak for themselves when it comes to vaccines. Take diphtheria for instance, a disease that causes the sinuses and throat to swell, creating breathing and swallowing problems. Before the diphtheria vaccines became available in 1921, over 15,000 Americans died from this disease. Between 2004 and 2014, the CDC was only made aware of two diphtheria cases.1
Here are some of the biggest benefits of immunizations.
- Immunizations Keep Kids Healthy: Before any drug or medical device is deemed safe for human consumption or use by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), it has to pass rigorous testing. Clinical trials for a number of years have to show the pros and cons of any medication and clearly state the risk factors. Vaccines in America now knock out the possibility of kids contracting 16 devastating diseases, including diphtheria, measles, mumps, polio, tetanus, rubella, and pertussis.2
- Immunizations Prevent Other Kids from Getting Sick: Immunizations are a personal choice, but they’re also a public health issue—concerning the entire global population. You may vaccinate your child, but if your kid’s classmate doesn’t get their shots then they could spread a disease and help it get stronger. The less opportunity we give diseases to spread, the better off we’ll be.
- Getting Your Kids Vaccinated Saves Money on Medical Bills: While more people have health care in the US today than they did even a decade ago, it’s still not cheap to get sick. Depending on your health insurance plan, you could pay up to $10,000 of your own money before reaching your annual deductible. So if your child gets sick all the time, those co-pays can add up—not to mention the related expenses of missing work. Considering the fact that vaccines cost only a fraction of that, it’s much cheaper to inoculate your kids than risk getting sick.
- Vaccines Weaken Diseases: We’re lucky to live in a country and a time where most of us haven’t ever had measles, mumps, pertussis (whooping cough), or polio. Just decades ago, children were devastated by these common diseases. The CDC is a huge proponent for vaccinations and credits them for eliminating and weakening diseases that once hurt millions of people. If we stop vaccinating our kids, children can become carriers of these diseases and help the antigens evolve into much stronger, more dangerous strains.
Diseases Are Still Floating Around
Just because we don’t see much disease in America doesn’t mean it’s been wiped from the map. People travel and bring back different pathogens all the time. If your child isn’t vaccinated, they could be at risk of becoming seriously ill or worse.
If your child becomes ill with one of the diseases that can be vaccinated against, they might never fully recover. Help your kids keep their bodies’ immune systems strong by getting them vaccinated.
Controversy Surrounding Vaccines
Parents are on two sides of the spectrum when it comes to the vaccination conversation. Some believe vaccinations can cause developmental disabilities and brain damage. Others believe vaccines are something all children should be mandated to have. As it stands, no firm evidence has been shown to correlate vaccines with developmental issues. Federally, children are required to get vaccinations before entering school unless they obtain a special waver.
Immunization Schedule for Kids in America
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has a detailed chart outlining when children from 2 months old to 18 years old should be vaccinated—and with what vaccines.3 Your primary care physician will keep your child on track with all immunizations, but if you’re interested, you can take a look to see what’s coming.
You can also check out our Immunization Safety resource to get a more in-depth look at the benefits of vaccinations.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “What Would Happen If We Stopped Vaccinations?”
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Facts for Parents: Diseases & the Vaccines That Prevent Them”
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Recommended Immunization Schedule for children and Adolescents Aged 18 Years or Younger”