Due to the recent information coming from the news and other media sources, parents are beginning to question the need to immunize their children. Why should we immunize? The CDC recommends that all children receive their immunizations according to the recommended schedule by age two.
Fortunately we live in the US, which currently has the safest vaccines in our history. The main side effects of vaccines seen in children are pain and swelling at the injection site, as well as low grade temperature and fussiness. Allergic reactions to immunizations can occur, but are very rare.
The benefit of immunizations is preventing diseases that can harm or kill infants, children and adults. Even though some of the diseases that we immunize against are not common in the US, it is still important to immunize. The reason these diseases are rarely contracted in the US is because of immunizations! If we stop immunizing children and adults, we will no longer be protected and these diseases will recur; epidemics can occur, as proven to be true by the increased number of cases of mumps and measles occurring in the US currently.
Beginning immunizations at the recommended age is important in providing immunity early in life. A child’s immune system, for the most part, is not equipped to fight infection properly until the age of five, leaving them susceptible to life threatening diseases. Delaying immunizations have shown no benefits in infants and children. It is also important that we continue to follow immunization recommendations as adults to continue ensuring the protection given by them. This protection in adults can help keep infants and children healthy who are unable to receive some vaccinations until later. The benefits of immunizing FAR outweigh the risks associated with immunizations. You should speak with your child’s healthcare provider if you have any questions regarding immunizations.