We have all heard about the risks of having our children vaccinated. We have also heard that they work, but for many people that does not matter because of moral or religious convictions. There are many things to take into consideration before deciding completely against having your child vaccinated because there is always risk when receiving vaccinations, the risk are much greater for not receiving them.
Some of us have a tendency to think “they didn’t have those in the old days” which is true. The thing is that many more children suffered from and died from child hood diseases in “the old days”. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has an abundance of data that reveals vaccinations really do work. The FDA and CDC monitor vaccinations and the problems and uses of them. There have been vaccinations discontinues for various reasons because their standards are so high. Only the ones with the least side effects and that work are the ones that stay in use and are required.
Education is a very important factor of life. The more we know about something the better we feel about that something. The following will tell about each vaccine, why it should be taken and the risks involved with it.
Let’s start with the Chicken Pox (Varicella) which is a very common childhood disease that we have all had or a least heard of. Chicken Pox is usually mild but can be very serious in infants and adults. The virus can be spread easily through the air or by contact with fluid from the blisters. It causes a rash with itching, fever, and tiredness. It can lead to much worse things such as skin infection, scars, pneumonia, brain damage, or even death. Approximately 12,000 people are hospitalized and approximately 100 die each year because of the Chick Pox. The vaccine can prevent someone from catching the disease but some people do still contract the disease. The people who have received the vaccine but still contract the disease get very mild cases that are much less severe with no fever and a much faster recovery. The risks involved with the Chicken Pox vaccine are extremely small. People who are pregnant or ill should wait to receive the vaccine. Soreness and swelling where the shot was given occurs in 1 out of 5 children and 1 out of 3 adolescents and adults. 1 out of 10 people will suffer from a minor fever and 1 out of 20 will get a mild rash that is contagious. Seizers can occur in 1 out of 1,000 people but the rarest serious side effect is pneumonia which happens very little.
The DTaP vaccine prevents against Diphtheria, Tentanus, and Pertussis which are serious diseases caused by bacteria. Tenanut enters the body through cuts or wounds while Diphtheria is spread from person to person. Diphtheria causes a thick covering in the back of the throat that can lead to breathing problems, paralysis, heart failure, and death. Tentanus also known as Lock Jaw causes painful tightening of the muscles which can lead to locking of the jaw making the victim unable to open his mouth or swallow. Tentanus causes 1 out of 10 people death. Pertussus also known as whooping cough causes coughing spells so bad that infants are unable to eat, drink, or breath and it can last for weeks. This disease can lead to pneumonia, seizures, brain damage and death. Children 7 years and under receive the DTaP vaccine and then at the age of 11 to 12 they should receive the booster shot (TD) every 10 years. 1 out of 4 children will run a mild fever after receiving this vaccine. The risks that are involved with the DTaP vaccine are things such as fussiness (1 of 3 children), tiredness or poor appetite (1 out of 10 children), and vomiting (1 out of 50 children). The more moderate problems that can occur is Seizure (1 out of 14,000 children), non-stop crying for hours (1 out of 1,000 children), high fever of over 105 degrees (1 out of 16,000 children). A serious allergic reaction can occur in 1 out of a million children. Seizures, coma, lowered consciousness, and brain damage have been reported but the chances of those are extremely small. As a matter of fact those are so small that it has never been determined if it was in fact the vaccine that caused the problem.
Hepatitis A is a serious liver disease caused by the Hepatitis A virus (HAV) that is found in the stools of people who have the disease and sometime in drinking water or food. Hepatitis A causes mild “flu like” illness, jaundice, and severe stomach pains and diarrhea. In many cases the victim will have to be hospitalized and in some cases the victim will die. Hepatitis A can be passed easily to others who live with the victim. Some of the mild risks involved with receiving the vaccine are soreness where the shot was given (1 out of 2 adults and 1 out of 5 children), headache (1 out of 6 adults and 1 out of 20 children), loss of appetite (1 out of 12 children) and tiredness (1 out of 14 adults). It is very rare that a serious allergic reaction will occur but when it does it will happen with a few minutes to a few hours after the shot is given.
Hepatitis B is much more serious that Hepatitis A, because of the severity of the disease. It can cause short-term illnesses such as loss of appetite, diarrhea and vomiting, tiredness, jaundice, pain in the muscles, joints and stomach. Hepatitis B can also cause liver damage, liver cancer and death. Each year 80,000 people contract Hepatitis B and more than 11,000 of those people have to stay in the hospital. 4,000 to 5,000 people die from the disease each year. The Hepatitis vaccine can prevent the disease which make it the first ever anti-cancer vaccine because it can prevent liver cancer. 1 out of 11 children and adolescents and 1 out of 4 adults will experience soreness where the shot was given. 1 out of 14 children and adolescents and 1 out of 100 adults will run a mild fever. Very rarely will anyone suffer from a severe allergic reaction.
Haemophilus Inflenzae type B (Hib) is a serious disease which is caused by bacteria and usually infects children who are under 5 years old. The disease is spread from person to person and is easily contracted just by being around someone with the disease. This disease was the leading cause of bacterial meningitis before the Hib vaccine. Hib also causes pneumonia, severe swelling of the throat making it hard to breathe, infections of the blood, joints, bones and covering of the heart, and death. Before the Hib vaccine nearly 20,000 children contracted the disease and 1,000 of those people died. There are very few and minor side effect associated with the vaccine for Hib. Redness, warmth, and swelling where the shot was given occur in 1 out of 4 children and 1 out of 20 children will run a mild fever of about 101 degree. These symptoms will usually end within a day of receiving the vaccine.
Measles, mumps, and rubella can all be very serious diseases. The Measles virus causes a rash, cough, runny nose, eye irritation and fever and can lead to ear infection, pneumonia, seizures, brain damage and death. Mumps can cause fever, headache, and swollen glands and lead to deafness, meningitis, painful swelling of the testicles or ovaries, and rarely death. Rubella also known as the German measles causes rash, mild fever and arthritis and can lead to miscarriages and babies being born with serious birth defects if the mother contracts it while pregnant. The side effects to the MMR vaccine to prevent these diseases are so rare that it is still undetermined that the vaccine is what actually caused the side effect.
Another very common disease that many people know of and have heard of is Polio. Polio is caused by a virus and sometimes causes paralysis and death. The year before the vaccine was put into use, thousands of people died of Polio. In 1916 more than 6,000 people died of Polio and more than 27,000 people where paralyzed. The vaccine began in 1955 and by 1960 the number of cases had dropped dramatically. It has now been about 20 years since there where in any wild cases of Polio in the USA. IPV is the vaccine that protects against Polio. Some people have been known to suffer from a little soreness where the shot was given, but no other serious side effects of the vaccine have been reported.
A person who is infected with the Streptococcus Pneumonia bacteria can suffer from serious illness and even death. Invasive Pneumococcal disease kills about 200 children under the age of 5 every single year. It is the leading cause of Meningitis as well. Before the vaccine started being used, there where over 700 cases of Meningitis, 13,000 blood infection, and about 5 million ear infections every single year. It can lead to even worse things such as Pneumonia, deafness, and brain damage. Children who are under the age of 2 years old are at risk the most for this disease. It is spread from person to person through contact. This being a bacterial infection can make it very hard to treat because some bacteria’s have become resistant to some of the drugs used to treat them. Pneumococcal Conjugate vaccine is used to prevent serious pneumococcal disease. Only very mild side effects have been known that are caused by this vaccine. 1 out of 4 infants suffer from tenderness, redness and/or selling where the shot is given. Approximately 1 out of 3 children suffer from fever of 100.4 and up and about 1 in 50 suffer from fever over 102.2 degrees. Very few children become fussy and drowsy and/or suffer from loss of appetite. There is no serious side effects known that’s caused by receiving this vaccine.
The Chicken Pox vaccine should be received between 12 and 18 months old. If a child who is 13 years old has never received the Chicken Pox vaccine they should receive 2 doses 4 to 8 weeks apart. The DTaP vaccine should be received once at 2 months old, 4 months old, 6 months old, 15 to 18 months old and 4 to 6 years old. The Hepatitis A vaccine should be received by anyone who is traveling to parts that have a high rate of the disease, commute to places with high rate, people in the medical field, among other circumstances. There should be two doses given 6 months apart. The Hepatitis B vaccine should be received by anyone who is under the age 18 years old. The Hib vaccine should be received at the age of 2 months old, 4 months old, 6 months old, and 12 to 15 months old. The MMR vaccine should be received in two doses, the first at 12 to 15 months old and the second at 4 to 6 years old. The Polio vaccine should be received at the ages of 2 months old, 4 months old, 6 to 18 months old, and then a booster dose at 4 to 6 years old. The Pneumococcal conjugate vaccine should be received at 2 months old, 4 months old, 6 months old and 12 to 15 months old.
The risks that come with each of these diseases can be critical and all of them can cause death among many other things as you have seen from this article. Before making the decision to not get your child vaccinated, please take into consideration the risk that you are putting them at. These diseases are very real and very scary, and the thought of your child suffering from one of these diseases should be enough to convince anyone that they need to have their child vaccinated. I hope that this article has helped you learn more about why vaccinations are so important and the risks involved with getting them, or worse, not getting them.