It’s Time to Take another Look at Vaccines

With the recent outbreaks of things like whooping cough and measles, it’s time for people to start looking at vaccinations again. Many people believe that illnesses like measles were long ago eradicated, however, there were still minimal cases. It is because of the invention of vaccinations that the diseases became less widespread, and it is because of people not getting their children vaccinated regularly now that these illnesses have been allowed to come back again.

While a healthy lifestyle is important, it is also important to take precautions and be prepared for illnesses that just might creep up on you. Vaccinations is one of the best ways to prepare, especially when ti comes to certain life threatening illnesses. Just because they are believed to be gone doesn’t mean it’s alright to stop vaccinating for them.

The Truth about Vaccinations

There is still much controversy over the good, the bad and the ugly when it comes to vaccinations, but studies have dispelled the idea that vaccinations cause autism. While a very few people can have extreme adverse reactions to vaccinations, these cases are few and they help more people than they harm. If you are concerned about negative effects, keep a close eye on the area of the vaccination, or on children that have recently been vaccinated. By knowing immediately when a rash or fever occurs it will be easier to get to the doctor on time if something were to happen.

According to a recent article by Allied Health Institute, even with the risks vaccines have been proven effective in cutting back on the amount of life threatening illnesses out there. Rarely, some people can have allergic reactions to vaccinations, but this doesn’t happen very often and is no reason to avoid vaccinations. Children are not the only ones that need vaccinations. Talk to your family doctor about what vaccines you may be missing in order to stay healthy and avoid any illnesses that may be out there.

Among the amazing things vaccinations have done, they prevent over 2.5 million deaths every year. Take a moment to look into what it is like in third world countries where vaccines are rarely, or never, available. They have a shorter lifespan than the people in the U.S. You may find that the percentages of people with, and dying from, diseases that are all but eradicated in the U.S. are far greater there.

Also, not all vaccinations are shots either, so even those people that fear the needle have options. These options may only be for certain vaccinations, but they at least cut down on the amount of times you need to get poked when it’s time to update your vaccinations.

The Non-Truths About Vaccinations

Many people worry that vaccines can cause things like autism and brain damage, but studies have shown that this just isn’t true. However, while some scientists say they have proof vaccines don’t cause autism, others still believe it does.

No matter which side of the coin you are on, with all the good vaccines have done it seems like they should still be a wise choice. When the positives outweigh the risks, it seems like a no brainer. Why risk measles, rubella, smallpox, when they can be prevented with a simple shot?

Some vaccines do contain traces of dangerous things, but not enough to harm you. The most important thing that people find confusing is in the thinking that the eradication of a disease means that a vaccine is no longer needed. Keep in mind that just because a disease is no longer found in one country doesn’t mean it can’t be found in another, especially third world countries where vaccines aren’t an option. If someone travels there without a vaccines and returns with the disease it can quickly spread into an epidemic.

Most Common Vaccinations

According to Merck Manuals, the most common vaccines for children include:

  • Chickenpox
  • Diphtheria
  • Hepatitis A and B
  • Influenza
  • Meningitis
  • Pertussis
  • Mumps

While this is not a complete list, it shows how important it is to protect our children if they are going to be exposed to these illness. Some of them can cause death or permanent health issues. Each is given at a different age, and can be given later if missed. That means that even if you’ve opted out in the past you can still get your child vaccinated.

They also list some of the most common vaccinations for adults, which include many of the above, as well as:

  • Rabies
  • Shingles
  • Smallpox
  • Tetanus

There are also some shots that are required, or recommended, for people travelling overseas, such as typhoid and yellow fever.

The Risk of Vaccines

Merck Manuals also points out the fact that receiving vaccines very rarely causes any issues for the people getting them. There can be some side effects that are mild, like redness where the injection took place or soreness. Some people worry about thimerosal, which is a preservative used in many vaccines, and is made from mercury. So far there has been no proof that the amount contained in certain vaccines has done any harm to anyone. There are, however, some vaccines that have been specifically made for infants that do not contain this ingredient, for those that do still have worries.

For people that want to avoid vaccines, the only reasons this should be done is if you are allergic to a certain vaccine. That doesn’t mean just saying you’re allergic though. If you risk anaphylactic shock then you are better without it.

There are also some reasons people should delay their vaccinations, especially if they are ones that contain certain live viruses that could cause them harm for whatever reasons. These reasons include people who have a compromise immune system, are pregnant ro that have a nervous system disorder of some kind.

Unless you fall into one of these last few categories, there really just aren’t enough reasons to avoid getting your vaccinations. Instead of just flat out turning them down, take some time to do the research and don’t be afraid to ask your doctor the tough questions.

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About Ferland Manuel

Dr, Manuel Ferland is health care specialist,