A child in Florida died from the flu virus, state officials announced on Oct. 15. The child had not received the flu vaccine.
This case has sparked the conversation about the importance of vaccinating children once again.
U.S. public health officials and physicians have been combating misconceptions about vaccine safety for years.
Despite the numerous studies have found no evidence to support the theory that vaccines cause autism and other chronic illnesses, an increasing number of parents are still choosing not to vaccinate their children.
In an interview with USA Today, a parent of three, Shane Ellison said, “The doctors all have the same script for vaccines.”
“It’s much more soothing to trust emergency medicine than a vaccine, which for me is like playing Russian Roulette,” he said.
One of the best ways to keep your children safe is to get them vaccinated.
Many parents are choosing not to vaccinate their children based on the myth – yes, the myth – that vaccines increase the risk of autism. The fear began to spread with a 1997 study published by Andrew Wakefield, a British surgeon, suggesting that the measles, mumps, rubella (MMR) vaccine was increasing autism in British children.
The paper has since been discredited due to serious procedural errors, undisclosed financial conflicts of interest.
Today, the true causes of autism remain a mystery. To further discredit the autism-vaccination link theory, even more, recent research provides evidence that autism develops in utero, well before a baby is born and receives vaccinations.
Everyone wants to do what is best for their children. Generally, parents know the importance of wearing a seat belt in a vehicle, baby gates, and other things to keep their children safe, but for some reason, some parents completely disregard the importance of getting their children vaccinated.
Ultimately, a vaccination can save a child’s life. Thanks to technological advances in the medical field, children can be protected against more diseases than ever. Some diseases, like polio, that used to injure or kill thousands of children, have been eliminated completely due to vaccinations.
Despite what rumors may be surrounding vaccinations, they are very safe and very effective. Vaccines are only given to children after a long and careful review by scientists, doctors and healthcare professionals.
Inevitably, children will experience at least a little bit of discomfort or tenderness when getting their shots, but the pain caused by an injection is more than likely minimal compared to the pain and discomfort of the disease the vaccine is preventing.
Thanks to “herd immunity,” so long as the majority of people are immunized, even the people who go without a vaccine will be protected. With so many people resistant, it is unlikely that even people who haven’t gotten vaccinated will be infected. But if too many people don’t vaccinate themselves or their children, they are opening opportunities for viruses and bacteria to establish and spread.
How many children have to die of a preventable disease or virus like the flu for us to take child vaccination seriously?
In the end, I think most people can agree that they would rather have a child with autism than a child they had to bury because of a disease that could have been so easily prevented.