According to the World Health Organization more than 106 million babies were vaccinated in 2008 which was an all time high. But, many parents are still leery about the idea of giving their little ones a shot. Amy Gorin, Health Editor for American Baby Magazine helps to put your mind at ease and tells us six things every parent needs to know about vaccines.
First, know that infectious diseases are rare. Illnesses like measles or mumps may sound like ages ago, but they can be very serious and sometimes deadly.
Not vaccinating your child affects not only him, but his friends too. It is called herd immunity. If parents ban the shots, their unprotected kids won't protect each other. If parents continue to vaccinate their children, certain diseases can be eliminated in the future - such in the case of smallpox.
Vaccines are safe. There is a lot of controversy surrounding vaccines, but to the contrary, they are safe. Vaccines are studied extensively. The FDA reviews clinical trials and monitors vaccine production.
Side effects from vaccines are far less scary than the diseases they protect against. There may be slight to severe discomfort such as an arm being sore. Discomfort from chickenpox can last for much longer. The arm hurting is a small price to pay to avoid serious risks and complications from a disease.
Babies can be vaccinated if they have a minor fever or cold. If your baby has the sniffles or a low-grade fever, it is alright to go ahead with the shots. If your baby has a high fever, wait until they are better. Make your doctor aware of any allergies your child may have.
Traditional vaccine schedules are much safer than alternative ones. It is better to stay on the safe side. The traditional schedule has plenty of research to back it up. Alternative ones do not.
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by Amy Gorin & Erika Wortham
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