Children face a series of vaccinations as they grow up, with many of them occurring before the age of 6. These vaccinations are designed to give kids protection against some of the world’s most serious diseases like polio, plus avoid diseases like measles that are easy to pass along from person-to-person. A growing movement amongst parents today is shunning vaccinations because they are thought of as unnecessary and potentially harmful.
Are there disadvantages to giving children a vaccine? Or is modern vaccine administration one of the key essentials for better child health?
The Pros of Vaccinating Children
Kids are protected against serious diseases that can change a life.
We’ve forgotten how scary the polio epidemic was back in the 1930s and 1940s. Kids were dying because of polio. Many more found themselves living in iron lungs because they could no longer breathe on their own. There are still folks today who are suffering from the paralytic effects of polio. Vaccines have stopped this from happening on epidemic levels.
It slows down disease progression with a community.
Even if a vaccine isn’t 100% effective against a disease, like the whooping cough vaccine, it does help people fight off the disease more quickly. Without a vaccination, pertussis could last for up to 100 days before the body could develop the antibodies to fight off the bacteria. People can still get pertussis without a vaccine, but it isn’t as serious of a disease when that happens.
It’s one of the most effective methods of prolonging life.
Some common childhood diseases from even just a generation ago, like chicken pox, now have vaccines that help to prevent their development. This helps children after they reach adulthood because the chicken pox virus can also cause shingles later on in life.
The Cons of Vaccinating Children
They have a small chance of developing an allergic reaction.
Some vaccines are cultivated using egg proteins or other substances that a child may develop an allergy to over time. This would make it difficult for future vaccines to be administered and could create food allergies that could put children at a higher risk of needing emergency medical treatment throughout their life.
Not all vaccines are as effective as medical professionals would like.
For the 2014-2015 influenza cycle, the flu shots that were administered to the general public were found to be just 23% effective against the prevalent strains of the disease. This means banking on the vaccine to completely prevent disease is more of a gamble than a fact.
There can be vaccinate site reactions.
Some children may develop shot site reactions that can be bothersome. This might include redness or even an infection that may require ongoing medical treatment. Headaches and feeling sick are also common side effects of getting shots.
For 99.9% of the population, medical professionals believe that the positives of getting vaccinated far outweigh any potential side effects. By evaluating the pros and cons of vaccinating children, all parents can better decide what the right course of action should be.