Straight Talk – To Vaccinate or Not to Vaccinate?

Severe cough, measles, polio. These are the viruses that preyed on children of past and that we thought were dead and gone. But the truth is that all these diseases have started appearing again. In 2017 there was a measles outbreak in a group of Somali-American people with already high immunization rates, mainly due to the concerns about mental health that drove parents to discard the antibody against measles. As a result, the virus erupted among the unvaccinated. Another reason behind outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases is the hustle and bustle of life. A majority of pro-vaccine parents often fail to follow vaccine schedules due to busy lives. The result of which can seriously harmful to their kids. To avoid this, download a pill reminder app that will notify you when it’s time to take medications.

These disturbing outbreaks show that inoculation in kids harms both the health of kid and others who would not be exposed to the virus if the society was better vaccinated. Equally disturbing, the number of intentionally unvaccinated children has developed so hugely that it might fuel more severe outbreaks. In a study in which over 1,500 parents participated, one quarter believed that immunizations can cause autism, while one out of 10 admitted that they had skipped at least one routine vaccine.

This tragic situation exists because parents have been treacherously misled by the false information available on the internet, all due to poor communication by the healthcare system.

Doctors and other health specialists should no longer assume that parents will readily agree to immunizations and leave the part of the discussion on immunization to the last minute. They should be more proactive, provide better information and assist parents a lot sooner than is typically the case.

An Insight on The Parent-Doctor Discussion

Currently, the health specialists only discuss with parents the need for immunizations during the well-baby checkup held around two months after birth. That too is of a very brief nature. The discussion is typically 20 minutes long. During this time, the doctor must ask a lot of questions to gather information from parents. The questions typically include:

  • How many times does the baby asks for food during night?
  • Is the child’s appetite well?
  • Do the parents know how and when to introduce child to solid food?
  • Do they know how to lay the kid down safely?
  • Are reflexes of the kid well?
  • Is the kid’s heartbeat hearable through the stethoscope?

In the final seconds of the visit, assuming all has gone well, the specialist provides the required schedule of next six months’ vaccinations:

  • The first shot is for viruses like diphtheria, lockjaw, and pertussis
  • The second shot prevents polio and hepatitis B
  • Third shot is for resistance against bacterial pneumonia and meningitis
  • The Hib shot (another type of meningitis)
  • Antibody to provide protection against diarrheal contamination

This is the point in the visit at which specialists report an interesting development: although most parents agree to vaccinations, many show uncertainties and say they want to postpone. And sometimes, they downright refuse to vaccinate their newborn.

Concerns and Facts

Though there are numerous reasons parents give for not wanting to inoculate their kids, these are the most common ones.

Some don’t believe that their kids are at risk of catching infections.

Some don’t trust that immunization-preventable diseases are real.

Many don’t believe in the effectiveness of vaccines. And many simply forget due to busy lives. For busy parents, medicine reminder app can be the right solution.

The concerns are mostly about negative effects such as fever or damage to the immune system. Each of these concerns can be met with a detailed review of the evidence.

Besides, various studies have been conducted to better evaluate the dangers of not immunizing—data that speaks to the misconception that the kids will not catch any serious infection if they skip vaccinations. A study conducted in Colorado compared the risks of vaccine-preventable infections in kids who were vaccinated and the kids who weren’t. The study found that unvaccinated kids were at a greater risk of catching whooping cough, chicken pox, and other similar infections than inoculated kids from similar communities.

Clearly, skipping inoculation puts kids at a greater risk of potentially serious infections. The study we mentioned above also demonstrates the flaws in a very common argument which wrongly recommends that an unvaccinated kid will not catch a vaccine-preventable disease since there will be enough number of vaccinated kids to guard the untreated child.

Do Not Rely on Luck

Relying on luck to avoid infections is more dangerous than many parents think. One out of 20 children who get the measles will catch pneumonia. One out of 1,000 will endure an aggravation of the brain that can prompt mental impediment. Similarly, chicken pox can prompt extreme skin infections, brain swelling, and pneumonia. On the other hand, immunized children who catch chickenpox (as antibodies may fail sometimes) suffer from much milder side effects.

Even when parents are aware of the risks of not immunizing, they want to ensure that immunizations are safe. Since antibodies are given to a huge number of individuals, including infants, they are held to a lot higher health standards than prescriptions for normal sickness. Nothing in prescriptions is 100 percent safe. The only way to determine safety is the absence of illnesses among vaccinated individuals.

Conclusion

So, these are some facts demonstrating the importance of immunizations. The parents against it need to realize that vaccination averts potentially serious diseases, and provides a high level of protection to the children. The more we realize this, the less the number of people will wind up in emergency rooms. And also, just vaccinating the child isn’t enough. Its vaccinating in time and according to schedule that prevents them from potential health risks. To follow the schedules with ease, download a medication reminder app on your phone. You guarantee that you will never skip a vaccination appointment again. Good luck!

5/5 (1 Review)