Parents: It is not advisable to skip or delay vaccines #VaccinesWork

Polio vaccination Kenya
COURTESY/UNICEFKENYA

You want to do what is best for your children. You know many ways to keep them safe. But, did you know that one of the best ways to protect your children is to make sure they have all of their vaccinations?

Important Reasons to Vaccinate Your Child


Immunizations can save your child’s life. 

Because of advances in medical science, your child can be protected against more diseases than ever before. Some diseases that once injured or killed thousands of children have been eliminated completely and others are close to extinction– primarily due to safe and effective vaccines. Polio is one example of the great impact that vaccines had have in most parts of the world. Polio was once the most-feared disease, causing death and paralysis across the world, but today, thanks to vaccination, there are no reports of polio in the most parts of the world.

Vaccination is very safe and effective. 

Vaccines are only given to children after a long and careful review by scientists, doctors, and healthcare professionals. Vaccines will involve some discomfort and may cause pain, redness, or tenderness at the site of injection but this is minimal compared to the pain, discomfort, and trauma of the diseases these vaccines prevent. Serious side effects following vaccination, such as severe allergic reaction, are very rare. The disease-prevention benefits of getting vaccines are much greater than the possible side effects for almost all children.

Immunization protects others you care about. 

While some babies are too young to be protected by vaccination, others may not be able to receive certain vaccinations due to severe allergies, weakened immune systems from conditions like leukemia, or other reasons. To help keep them safe, it is important that you and your children who are able to get vaccinated are fully immunized. This not only protects your family but also helps prevent the spread of these diseases to your friends and loved ones.

Immunizations can save your family time and money. 

Vaccination against these diseases is a good investment and usually covered by insurance. Most Vaccines for Children program are funded program that provides vaccines at no cost to children from low-income families.

Immunization protects future generations. 

Vaccines have reduced and, in some cases, eliminated many diseases that killed or severely disabled people just a few generations ago. For example, smallpox vaccination eradicated that disease worldwide. Your children don’t have to get smallpox shots any more because the disease no longer exists. If we continue vaccinating now and vaccinating completely, parents in the future may be able to trust that some diseases of today will no longer be around to harm their children in the future.

FINAL WORD

Doctors and other public health experts have worked hard to come up with the optimal vaccination schedule, affording the most complete and safest protection possible. It is not advisable to skip or delay vaccines, as this will leave the child vulnerable to diseases for a longer period of time. Parents should discuss any concerns with their child's pediatrician.

For more information about the importance of infant immunization, visit http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines.
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