Vaccinate or Not? There is No Question

Vaccinate or Not? There is No Question

After years of decline, measles is on the rise in the U.S., Europe and Latin America. Why? Because alarmingly, fewer children are being vaccinated. To stop this virus from spreading, people must receive two doses of the measles containing vaccine (MMR or measles/mumps/rubella).

Without proper immunization, many vaccine-preventable diseases—like measles—can have dangerous consequences, from seizures and brain damage to blindness and even death. Misinformation and myths about vaccines continue to confuse parents who want to protect their children.

Vaccinations are one of the best ways to keep kids healthy. Before you consider forgoing them, talk with your child’s health care provider. He or she can help you make an informed decision.

Here are five key reasons to make vaccinations a priority:

  1. Immunization saves lives. Diseases that once caused serious harm to or killed thousands of children have now been eliminated or are close to extinction, thanks to vaccines. Consider Polio, a disease that used to be one of America’s most feared illnesses. Due to vaccination, there are no reports of this disease in the U.S today.
  2. Immunization is safe and effective. Vaccines are only approved for medical use after stringent review by doctors, scientists and other health care professionals. Before vaccines are licensed, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires extensive testing. Once the vaccine is in use, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and FDA monitor any adverse effects through a reporting system called the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS). In the majority of cases, vaccines have no side effects, or only cause mild reactions like fever or soreness at the injection site.
  3. Immunization is healthier for your wallet. Certain vaccine-preventable illnesses can cause prolonged disabilities, lost time at work and/or school, and big medical bills due to the need for ongoing care. Getting vaccinated is not only a good investment, but also typically covered by insurance. If you do not have insurance, Holland Hospital can help.
  4. Immunization shields others around you. To keep those who may be at higher risk of vaccine-preventable diseases (such as babies who are too young to be immunized and those with known severe allergies or weakened immune systems), it’s vital for parents and their children to be fully vaccinated. Immunization thwarts the spread of serious diseases to others, including your loved ones.
  5. Immunization helps future generations. With complete vaccination, some current diseases may no longer harm people in the future. Take smallpox as one powerful example from our past.

Whether they’ve just been born or are headed off to college, you can help ensure the health and wellness of your children with vaccination. For recommended immunizations by age, visit the CDC or American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).

In your neighborhood and close to home, Lakeshore Health Partners’ primary care specialists are focused on your health and wellness—delivering experienced and compassionate care for the entire family.

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  • Daniel Golin, MD

    Daniel Golin, MD

    Dr. Golin, with Lakeshore Health Partners - Pediatrics & Internal Medicine/Peds, spent much of his early life in a third world medical context, witnessing firsthand the effects of lack of immunization on a community. Dr. Golin has dedicated his medical career to pediatrics and the health of children in the Holland area for the last 25 years. He and his wife raised 4 children and have 1 granddaughter. They continue to be involved in their church and have experience with international adoption and international mission work. 

     

    All blogs by Daniel Golin, MD

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