It’s no secret that vaccines have helped to keep us safe from disease outbreaks for a long time.
Yet myths about vaccines seem to persist in our culture, and they may put your children at risk.
That’s because it’s crucial that you keep your kids up-to-date on their shots so they can maintain resistance from serious conditions. Here are five points you should follow when it comes to vaccinating your child:
1. Vaccines are safe. Babies might cry and get fussy. Older kids may complain about a sore arm. But those are the most common side effects.
2. Vaccines do not cause autism or SIDS. Study after study has found no link between vaccines and autism or SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome). Signs of autism often appear around the same age the MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) vaccine is given. And the first dose of the DTaP (diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis) vaccine is given when a baby is 2 months old, a time when the risk of SIDS is highest. But that doesn't mean one causes the other.
3. Diseases like chickenpox can be life threatening. Most kids with chickenpox recover after a week, but some get pneumonia or infected blisters. A vaccine for the disease was approved in 1995. Before that, chickenpox sent about 10,000 people to the hospital every year--and killed about 100 a year.
4. Diseases can make a comeback. Vaccine-preventable illnesses can make a global comeback if immunization rates decline even a little. The germs that cause these diseases may be only a plane flight away.
5. Safety in numbers. It's harder for a disease to spread when most people are vaccinated for it. It's called herd immunity, and it means that your child's shot helps protect others too.
Ask your Watson Clinic pediatrician about the immunization schedule that will fit your child’s needs.