Vaccinations – A Topic that Divides the World
Vaccinations are a hotly contested topic all over the world. As recent as April of this year, Australia’s Prime Minister had proposed that if children were not vaccinated, they would not receive child benefits or that in Pakistan, 500 parents were arrested for not allowing their children to receive the polio vaccine. In the United States, the topic of vaccinations is one of the most heated debates that occur on any given day. Take for example, last year’s Disneyland California measles outbreak or how Senator Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania is an outspoken advocate for vaccines being administered in the country, who is right?
Dr. Jabbour believes that immunizations are an incredibly important (and effective) tool in preventing serious and even fatal diseases in children. Contrary to what some alarmists may want you to believe, she and her clinics stand by the mountain of medical data that supports the safety of the vaccines used in modern pediatrics.
Let’s examine the types of vaccines Kids First Pediatric Clinic administers:
- Hepatitis A and B – A virus that causes an inflammation of the liver and can lead to cirrhosis or liver cancer.
- Rotavirus – A common virus that causes diarrhea. Symptoms include severe dehydration, fever, vomiting.
- Diphtheria – Bacterial infection affecting the nose and throat. Symptoms include weakness, swollen glands and sore throat.
- Tetanus – Bacterial disease affecting the nervous system. It interferes with the ability to breath. Commonly known as “lockjaw.”
- Pertussis (“whooping cough”) – Contagious respiratory disease. Symptoms include uncontrollable and violent coughing and difficulty breathing.
- Pneumococcal and Meningococcal bacteria – Also known as meningitis that can cause brain damage, or stroke due to inflammation of the membranes surrounding the brain.
- Polio – Contagious viral illness that may cause paralysis and difficulty breathing.
- Influenza – Viral infection that affects your nose, throat and lungs.
- Measles – Symptoms include fever, rash, cough, runny nose, red eyes, and sore throat.
- Mumps – Symptoms include weakness, pain or stiffness in the neck, dehydration, vomiting, and abdominal pain.
- Rubella – Symptoms resemble the measles but is caused by a different virus
- Varicella (chickenpox) – Contagious illness that causes a rash and makes the body itchy with red spots and blisters all over the body.
Consider this, if diphtheria and polio are becoming rare in the U.S. due largely in part to vaccinations, then, why not do it? According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), “Unless we can “stop the leak” (eliminate the disease), it is important to keep immunizing. “ CDC goes on to report, “In 1974, Japan had a successful pertussis (whooping cough) vaccination program, with nearly 80% of Japanese children vaccinated. That year only 393 cases of pertussis were reported in the entire country, and there were no deaths from pertussis.” There is clearly evidence that vaccinations do more good than harm for everyone.
Consider these facts from the CDC:
- Newborn babies are immune to many diseases because they have antibodies they got from their mothers. However, this immunity goes away during the first year of life.
- If an unvaccinated child is exposed to a disease germ, the child’s body may not be strong enough to fight the disease. Before vaccines, many children died from diseases that vaccines now prevent, such as whooping cough, measles, and polio. Those same germs exist today, but because babies are protected by vaccines, we don’t see these diseases nearly as often.
- Immunizing individual children also helps to protect the health of our community, especially those people who cannot be immunized (children who are too young to be vaccinated, or those who can’t receive certain vaccines for medical reasons), and the small proportion of people who don’t respond to a particular vaccine.
- Vaccine-preventable diseases have a costly impact, resulting in doctor’s visits, hospitalizations, and premature deaths. Sick children can also cause parents to lose time from work.
Contact Kids First Pediatric Clinic today for more information on when to schedule your child for a vaccination. It’s important to keep your child’s immunizations on schedule and up to date.