Every parent wants to protect their child from any possible risk. It’s time to inject a dose of reality into these parents. You don’t wrap your child in bubble wrap before sending them off to school. You allow them to ride in vehicles. You feed them, despite the risk of choking. In studies from the Center for Disease Control shows the fatality of vaccines is two in one million. You’re more likely to win the lottery than die of a vaccine.
A vaccine is a medical product. Vaccines, though they are designed to protect from disease, can cause side effects, just as any medication can.Daniel A. Salmon, Ph.D., M.P.H., of the Institute for Vaccine Safety at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, surveyed parents of both vaccinated and unvaccinated children. He and his colleagues found that parents who avoided vaccines most often did so because of fears that the vaccine itself might be harmful. What is driving this fear? “Not enough public education about vaccines,” Dr. Salmon says.
Parents take lightly their ability to vaccinate children against childhood diseases. Recent studies suggest that as many as 21 percent of parents in the U.S. are delaying or refusing some or all the recommended early childhood vaccines. Schools in some areas — educated, upper-middle-class regions — have startlingly low vaccination rates: in one Washington State county, 72 percent of kindergarteners and 89 percent of sixth graders are either not compliant with or exempt from vaccination requirements for school entry.
You know what happens when you risk NOT vaccinating your child?
Auckland, New Zealand parents Ian and Linda Williams thought they had made an informed choice not to vaccinate their children, but after their son ended up in intensive care with a tetanus infection they realized they had made a terrible mistake.
“The mistake that we made was that we underestimated the diseases and we totally over-estimated the adverse reactions”, says father Ian Williams, who is speaking publicly of his family’s ordeal to warn other parents about the dangers of not immunizing their children.
It all started back in December 2012. Seven year old, Alijah got a small cut on the bottom of his foot. A few days later his body was reacting as if he had a stroke. Tetanus is caused by bacteria which are present in soils, dust and manure. The bacteria can enter the body through a wound which may be as small as a pin prick.
Mr. Williams recalls his son’s agony, “It’s a terrible thing… Your whole body arches, your arms go up in the air. It’s like getting a cramp but it’s everywhere, across the face as well. They are so tight your jaw locks. It got so bad they put him in an induced coma just to put him out of his misery.”
Due to the Williams poor choice to forego vaccines, their child almost died. After three weeks in intensive care, he gradually came out of it. So many medications had to be pumped through his little body to fight the bacteria. He will carry the scars of the tracheotomy for the rest of his life. The pain and agony of this child could have been completely avoided.
The irony is that many people are afraid of immunizations developed to prevent the very diseases their parents and grandparents feared. Now we’re fearing the vaccine it’s self?
The BIG question: Are vaccines linked to autism?
Over the years, some people have had concerns that autism might be linked to the vaccines children receive. One vaccine ingredient that has been studied specifically is thimerosal, previously used as a preservative in many recommended childhood vaccines. However, in 2001 thimerosal was removed or reduced to trace amounts in all childhood vaccines except for one type of influenza vaccine, and thimerosal-free alternatives are available for influenza vaccine. Evidence from several studies examining trends in vaccine use and changes in autism frequency does not support such an association between thimerosal and autism.
A study by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) concluded that “the evidence favors rejection of a causal relationship between thimerosal–containing vaccines and autism.” CDC supports the IOM conclusion that there is no relationship between vaccines containing thimerosal and autism rates in children.
As a mother, I’m willing to risk the minuscule side effects of the vaccines if it means keeping my child healthy and alive.
If you fear vaccinating your child, make sure you’re making an informed decision. Don’t rely on information gathered from the internet or message boards. Speak with the Center for Disease Control, doctors, or other health care professionals.