In recent years, voices have been raised against vaccination programs based on false information. In this article we tell you all about vaccines.
Vaccines protect children from dangerous and life-threatening diseases that, although they are now rare, are precisely because of that vaccination. Failure to administer major vaccines to children puts them at unnecessary risk both personally and at the community level.
1. Diseases have been eradicated by hygiene, not by vaccines
The improvements in the hygienic conditions contribute of course to diminish the appearance of certain diseases that appear in a cyclical way. However, it has been shown that the introduction of mass vaccination has represented a turning point and the cases of disease against this vaccine have drastically decreased , thanks to this many diseases have been eradicated.
Likewise, diseases that have been vaccinated against in more recent times have experienced a decrease in cases , for example, Haemophilus influenza B or meningococcus C. While in countries where vaccination against certain infections has been discontinued, cases have increased significantly, as was the case with whooping cough in Japan or Sweden.
2. Vaccines can cause serious side effects, illness, or be deadly.
Vaccines are very safe and the side effects they can have are very small compared to the health benefit of prevention. For example, the triple bacterial vaccine (DTP) can cause mild encephalitis in 1 in every million vaccinated, while any of these three diseases causes the death of 1 in 200 children and severe encephalitis with sequelae in 1 in 1,000.
A false relationship between the DTP vaccine and sudden infant death emerged a few years ago, but long-term studies have scientifically disproven that claim.
3. Some vaccines have been linked to an increase in serious diseases
There is a belief that vaccination is related to the appearance of certain diseases such as autism, cancer, Alzheimer’s, multiple sclerosis… It is said that cases have increased since vaccination, but, in reality, it has not been possible to prove that there is any relationship between vaccination programs and the prevalence of certain diseases. What happens is that diagnostic methods have improved and now cases are detected that could previously go undiagnosed. Likewise, the increase in life expectancy makes certain diseases such as Alzheimer’s or dementias more prevalent today than a few decades ago.
4. Receiving multiple vaccines at the same time can be dangerous
Exposing a child to several antigens at the same time does not put a strain on the immune system . They are constantly exposed to antigens during childhood; moreover, any school child is exposed to colds, laryngitis, otitis, gastroenteritis and other mild infectious diseases in a higher proportion than the antigenic exposure involved in vaccination.
The only precaution that should be taken when giving two or more live vaccines (such as the flu or MMR) is that they must be well simultaneously or within four weeks of each other. The only absolute contraindications for live vaccines (but not for those that are not) is that you are immunosuppressedor that there is an absolute allergy to some component of the vaccine, such as egg protein or certain minimal amounts of antibiotic that some vaccines carry.
Risk of not vaccinating
Vaccinating the little ones is, for now, in USA a personal decision, but whose consequences affect the entire population. All of us live in a community in which microorganisms circulate, so if some families, with all the good intention, make the decision not to vaccinate, they put their communities at serious risk . Vaccines save the lives of 3 million people annually and it is a risk to make the decision not to vaccinate children. When in doubt, always consult your pediatrician, who will always want the best for his patients.
What you should know…
- Vaccines save the lives of 3 million children each year, and the decision not to vaccinate them is risky.
- Vaccines are very safe and the side effects they can have are very small compared to the health benefit of prevention.