Vaccinating Your Child

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The majority of children in the US are vaccinated for diseases such as Measles, Mumps, and Rubella, and they have to be in order to attend school (exempting those who do not vaccinate for religious reasons). Schools require children to be vaccinated for these diseases because it severely decreases the number of hospitalizations and death due to these diseases. Children tend to get sick more often than adults due to their still-growing immune systems as well as their close contact with one another on a daily basis so it is especially important for their protection.

Due to the lack of immunization worldwide, in just fourteen years the United States went from being measles-free to having documented 667 cases in 2004. Many of these cases were in Ohio Amish communities where immunization is against their religious social construct. Another outbreak at an amusement park in 2015 caused 189 cases in the US in 2015, this decreased number of cases could be due to more people getting vaccinated due to the large outbreak the year before. These outbreaks most likely began with someone who has traveled either into the US or back to the states after having become infected. They then can spread the disease to either people who have not been vaccinated for whatever reason (too young, religious reasons, etc.) or those with weakened immune systems (such as those with cancer or other serious illnesses).

People oftentimes don’t trust the government or are worried they will react to the vaccine, but vaccines are safe and effective. The Center for Disease Control makes sure they are safe by requiring many testing stages before it can be approved. These stages include an exploratory stage, pre-clinical stage, clinical development (consisting of three phases: trial vaccines, trial vaccines within certain population constraints, and trial for effectiveness and safety), continuous review and approval, manufacturing, and quality control. All in all, vaccines are important to the overall health of our world today.

Sources:

http://www.cdc.gov/measles/cases-outbreaks.html#modalIdString_CDCTable_0

http://www.vaccineinformation.org/vaccines-save-lives/

http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/basics/test-approve.html

http://www.rediclinic.com/blog/know-maryland-immunization-requirements-for-the-2015-16-school-year/

~Maria Diersing