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Separating Myths From Facts: Should Your Child Get Vaccinated?

Child getting vaccinated
Many subject matters are highly debated. For parents, one of the most debated topics seems to be whether or not children should be vaccinated. Some parents opt for immunizations for their children, while other parents tend to rely on natural immunity and hope for the best.
What is your stance on the matter? Maybe you're not even sure. However, when you look at the research and statistics, vaccinations save lives. Based on one report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), vaccinations would save more than 732,000 lives and keep 21 million people out of the hospital.
Of course, if your children attend public school, or if you wish for them to in the future, then you are going to have to have your children immunized. Vaccinations are a required for children to attend a public school - and this is true for all 50 states, though there are some exceptions for special circumstances, such as children who have vaccine allergies.
Regardless, if you are someone who is undecided about whether you should have your child vaccinated, here are a few myths regarding immunizations and the facts to dispel them.

Myth: Vaccines Cause Autism

There have been many concerns that vaccines, especially the MMR vaccine, can cause autism. This particular concern can be linked back to an article that was published originally in 1998. While it has since been retracted, many people still to this day believe the information related to it.
Primarily, the concern has been about thimerosal, a particular ingredient found in the vaccine, which allegedly can lead to autism. However, over the years, there has been no substantial research that can link the two of them together.

Myth: Vaccines Cause the Disease to Manifest

Some individuals commonly believe that vaccines pose a risk of causing the disease that they are designed to prevent from occurring. This particular myth likely comes from the very few occurrences of the live-polio vaccine that did, in fact, cause polio; however, this most frequently occurred in populations that were very under-immunized, such as third-world countries.
Since 2000, the World Health Organization (WHO) reports that there are approximately three billion children who have received the polio vaccine, and there have only been 24 cases of the vaccine causing polio across 21 countries.

Myth: Vaccines Aren't Needed Thanks to Modern Sanitation

Long ago, child mortality rates were high due to the way that people lived. Thanks to modern hygiene and sanitation, higher nutritional diets and less-cramped home conditions, many childhood diseases aren't as highly occurring as they used to be. However, this does not mean that immunizations are not effective and should not be given/received.
To understand how effective immunizations are, you can take a look at the varicella (aka chickenpox) vaccine. Since 1995, there are less than 350,000 individuals who get chickenpox annually, compared to over four million who did before the vaccine. In addition, the death rate has decreased dramatically, from over 100 to fewer than 20 people each year. 
 
As you can see, there is a lot of skepticism surrounding vaccines. Hopefully, this information has helped give you some insight into the situation if you were skeptical.
If you are hesitant about your child receiving immunizations, schedule an appointment with Pediatric Consultants so that we can discuss the pros and cons of your individual situation. We don't want to pressure you into a decision that you don't feel comfortable making, but we do want to ensure that you have all the information that you need to make a well-informed decision.