Vaccines, Do the Benefits Outweigh the Risks?

West Clermont High School has required its senior class be vaccinated in order for them to attend their prom, is it necessary that everyone receive this vaccination? Just what are the benefits versus the potential risks posed by getting all the recommended vaccinations?

When children are taken on a trip to the pediatrician there is a often a groan and some hesitation, especially if getting a shot in their future. However, in recent years some parents also have similar reactions when it’s time to vaccinate their child. There has been much speculation over the effectivity of the vaccinations, and a much more questioning view has been taken towards the side effects that could potentially happen to their child if receives vaccinations.

The truth is, both studies and doctors agree, the benefits of having your children vaccinated far outweighs the potential (and very small chance) risks. The speculation over a large amount of children becoming incredibly sick, or even developing a form of Autism is what puts so many parents on the fence, but in reality, very few children actually suffer from dangerous outcomes. In fact, with the DTP vaccine only 25 to 35 children per every 100,000 develop a high fever which can cause seizures, and 6 to 9 children per 100,000 for the MMR vacc, both of which are given to children at early infantry and before they begin school, even for those children that do develop seizures. The University of Washington, along with the Kaiser Vaccine Study found that in medical records of almost 700,000 children, there is only an increased risk of seizures for the day of administration for DTP and 14 days after for the MMR vacc. These seizures create no long term damage neurologically to those children.

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Many Anti-Vaccination parents argue that it’s their child, full disclosure should be given to them over whether or not they want to have their child vaccinated as it is a non emergency medical procedure. It makes sense, any thought of your child having a run in with potential harm to their health is a scary thought to have, without a doubt. However, there is a broader picture to that thought. By vaccinating your children you prevent the risk of those around you being in even more danger by contracting potentially life threatening diseases. “We must constantly make the point of the value of these vaccines in preventing the thousands and thousands of deaths and disabilities that would have resulted in the absence of vaccination. Bottom line: these vaccines are safe and effective.” says Dr. Gregory Poland, chief of the Mayo Clinic Vaccine Research Group and American editor of the journal VACCINE. When parents have their children vaccinated, they are not only protecting their child but a countless number of others who cannot receive that shot, like pregnant women, those who are allergic to vaccine components, babies who which are too young to revive the vaccine yet, the elderly & unvaccinated children and adults, as well as those who suffer from chronic illness, asthma or are undergoing cancer therapy.

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Taylor Hogsed says “I think vaccinations are necessary. Everyone needs to get vaccinations because when you don’t have the vaccination you are open to that risk, that risk makes you more vulnerable to getting infections or spreading. So even though you think you don’t have it, or don’t show symptoms, you could spread it or get something because you don’t have a vaccination”, and she’s right,  vaccines put up the best line of defense against epidemics that used to disable and kill millions of children and adults.

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Being vaccinated is much safer than not. It’s different from being prescribed medicine to feel better, it prevents millions from having to be prescribed medicines and avoids having countless numbers in the hospital intensive care unit with meningitis or measles. The risks that come from vaccinations make it tempting to say no, but the decision to say no can increase the chances of catching a range of serious diseases. The United States has many diseases relatively under control, and that is because of the vaccinations that are delivered throughout the country. If the rate of immunization was to even decrease a small amount, it can trigger a comeback of infectious diseases that were previously almost nonexistent in the U.S. . Just because the U.S. has low rates of diseases does not mean that everyone is automatically immune, the U.S. is fortunate enough to have the means to vaccinate. For many countries that is not the situation and children and adults suffer from these diseases everyday. If there is still a doubt that vaccines are unsafe, know that each and every vaccine undergo a massive amount of testing that has to be approved by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration), and as they are administered the vaccines continued to be monitored for continuous safety. Vaccines are also considerably more cost effective, because it’s much less money to prevent a disease than to treat it once it’s too late. For cost comparison it’s 13.6 billion is saved on childhood immunization programs, whereas the treatment in hospitals on 538 children with vaccine preventable illnesses and diseases in one state alone cost a yearly total of 29.2 million dollars.

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To wrap up, and address what seems to be the biggest preventer in a lot of parents vaccinating their children, the thought that their child could develop Autism from shots, particularly the MMR Vaccine. Ever since one researcher, Andrew Wakefield conducted a test where he found that the vaccine causes inflammatory bowel disease which allowed harmful proteins to enter the bloodstream and damage the brain as a result, however no other scientists have been able to recreate this and Wakefield has been barred from practicing medicine.

 

SOURCES

Immunize for Good

Healthy Children

KP Washington Research

CDC

NHS Choices

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