To Vaccinate or Not Vaccinate: That Is The Question.

As a child, I was always up to date on all my vaccines. I never questioned it nor did my parents, just knew they would protect me against certain diseases. I never thought any more about them until I had my own child. Even then, I still didn’t think twice about having her vaccinated. Yet, the more I research and speak to other mom’s & dad’s out there, the more I am seeing that there is a whole slew of people against vaccines. Whether it be the fears of Autism or SIDS, so many parents have stayed clear of having their children vaccinated. To each their own I say. If you don’t feel as if your child should be subjected to such vaccinations, that’s your own prerogative. But I still wanted to know some more answers, for myself. My friends at Miami Children’s Hospital have helped answer some of the pertinent questions about vaccines.

Can’t Vaccines Cause Health Complications?

“Vaccines are not the reason for an increase in autism diagnoses over the last decade or so,” explained Dr. Jose Rosa-Olivares. “Autism diagnoses have increased because of a broader definition of this spectrum disorder. There are not necessarily more children living with autism than there were in the past. Simply, more families now have a diagnosis for their child’s condition, whereas 10 years ago, the symptoms may have been unexplained.”
 
As relates to SIDS, Dr. Jose Rosa-Olivares notes, “Various studies have failed to prove the connection between vaccines and SIDS. In fact, the number of SIDS cases has decreased more than 50 percent in recent years, while the number of vaccines administered each year continues to rise.”

Everyone Else Is Already Vaccinated. Does My Child Really Have to Be?

It’s likely that most school-age children have received their proper immunizations. But, school isn’t the only place children come in contact with transmittable diseases. When traveling, there’s always a risk that a child may come in contact with someone or something that carries disease-carrying bacteria or viruses. Unvaccinated children are at increased risk of contracting and spreading vaccine-preventable diseases.

Moreover, the U.S. is constantly hosting travelers from all over the world who may carry diseases. Diseases such as polio, though no longer an issue in the U.S., still exist in other parts of the world. Therefore, it’s only safe to discontinue vaccines when a disease has been eliminated worldwide.

As a parent, you want to do what’s best for your child, that’s why it’s important to talk to your pediatrician about which vaccinations your child may need. Keeping them up to date with age-appropriate immunizations is the first step in helping children grow to be happy and healthy.

Living in South Florida, we are a hub for many countries and it is scary to see just how easily diseases can be entered in our lives – even ones that haven’t been around in our country for years. I am not a vaccine pusher – but I an info-pusher. I like to know all the facts before I make any decision in my life or that of my childs. I hope this information will be helpful to new parents, like myself, about the world of vaccines. It opened my eyes to things I never even thought of before I had a child.

If you would like to learn more information about vaccines, please visit www.mch.com. Don’t forget to always talk to your pediatrician if you have ANY concerns or questions related to vaccines and your child’s well-being.

- Amanda

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