Vaccines- Overwhelming Immune Systems or Overwhelmingly Positive?

child-vaccinationThere is so much for parents to think about when a child is born, and the topic of vaccines is one of the most important. Within this topic, there is a viewpoint that vaccinating an infant isn’t a good decision because it overwhelms their immune system. In fact, According to a 2002 artcile in Pediatrics, the Official Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, a survey was taken that showed an increase in the amount of parents who believed that infants were getting too many immunizations.

However, speaking of overwhelming, there is overwhelming supporting evidence that vaccinations for infants do not overwhelm the immune system and are in fact necessary and important.

immunizationThough small, babies’ immune systems are already mighty, and mightier than you think. An article on parenting.com entitled ’10 Vaccine Myths—Busted’ quotes Dr. Paul Offit from the Vaccine Education Center at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia saying, “A baby’s body is bombarded with immunologic challenges  — from bacteria in food to the dust they breathe. Compared to what they typically encounter and manage during the day, vaccines are literally a drop in the ocean.”  Infants are designed to fight back against pathogens, in conjunction with the vaccination helping to ultimately strengthen the immune system, as explained in the summary of the Pediatrics article.

Another factor that arises when it comes to overwhelming immune systems is the number of vaccinations given to children nowadays. A piece on the website of the organization Immunize For Good explains that “the number of vaccines recommended for your child is much larger than the handful of vaccines you received as a child, but the quantity of vaccines available today increases the quality of protection.” This is because although the number of vaccines has increased, the amount of harmful antigens in vaccines has actually decreased. This is noted in both the Immunization for Good article as well as the Pediatrics article. Further, it’s important to note that “vaccines are as effective given in combination as they are given individually” (http://www.parenting.com/article/10-vaccine-myths—busted?page=0,1). photogallery_infant_immunization_10_full

In closing, the myth that vaccines overload a child—particularly infant’s—immune system is simply false. Immunizations are necessary at such a young age in order to prevent infectious disease, therefore protecting children, parents, and the wider society.

Sources:

http://www.parenting.com/article/10-vaccine-myths—busted?page=0,1

http://www.immunizeforgood.com/fact-or-fiction/overwhelming-their-immune-system

http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/109/1/124.full

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Vaccinations, “For the Greater Good”

Many parents chose not to vaccinate their children or themselves, based on their personal beliefs. However, many people are ignorant to the fact that some people are unable to receive the vaccination due to factors beyond their control. According to the Center for Disease Control, people with severe allergies to certain vaccination ingredients, certain diseases, any type of cancer, blood disorders, as well as other conditions, are highly advised not to receive vaccinations, as the risks are immediately life threatening. That being said there are many diseases that these people are susceptible to.

This makes a good argument, that parents’ vaccinating their children is a civic duty. Parents that make the choice against vaccinations are not only potentially putting their own families’ at risk, but other people including children, who unfortunately are not able to be vaccinated.

Forrest Brown, from the Cavalier Daily, recently wrote an article, “For the Greater Good” that draws attention to this important and relevant issue.  “Measles was supposed note-measlesto have been eliminated in the U.S. more than 10 years ago. But in a Texas community where vaccination is discouraged for religious reasons, there has been a recent outbreak among 21 people who for the most part were not immunized. This is not an uncommon problem. People who avoid vaccines tend to live near each other in the same communities, usually because their anti-vaccine views come from the same religious or cultural sources.”

measles

 

The fact, that many people who hold the anti-vaccine position, commonly live in concentrated communities, is a problem. In the instances when these, vaccine prevented diseases occur, epidemics and outbreaks are likely to be far more dangerous and likely to continue to spread. This is more hazardous than it solely spreading to the entire unvaccinated community, but the increased number of infected people will, increases the likelihood of the disease being spread outside the specific community.

whooping cough  In addition to allergies and diseases, age is also a factor in immunizations. According to U.S. Department of Health, “we have seen resurgences of measles and whooping cough (pertussis) over the past few years. In 2010 the U.S. had over 21,000 cases of whooping cough reported and 26 deaths, most in children younger than 6 months.” The CDC does not recommend the vaccine for whooping cough until age two, so unfortunately, newborns and infants are greatly at risk.

            These people, who decide against vaccinations, think that choosing to be vaccine free is their own right and at their own risk, when in reality: they are clearly putting everyone at risk.

(http://www.cavalierdaily.com/article/2013/11/brown-for-the-greater-good)

(http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vpd-vac/should-not-vacc.htm)

(http://www.vaccines.gov/about.html)

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What to Expect When Getting Vaccinated

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So, what happens when I take my child to get vaccinated?  What should I bring to the doctor’s office?  What happens when we leave the doctor’s office?  All of these, and more, are valid questions most parents ask themselves when taking their child to get vaccinated.  Vaccines.gov is a helpful website that tells you what to expect before, during and after your child gets vaccinated.  Click here for more information.

 

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We’re seeing a Decrease in the Amount of Children getting Vaccinated

This is a news segment from New Mexico that explains how a good amount of children in public schools aren’t getting vaccinated. In a short time span, the amount of children not getting their vaccines rose 300%! They blame it on parents hearing wrong information, and we can only hope that more people see news segments like this one. Parents should do their own research so that they are properly educated on vaccinations. Like the video says, money is not an excuse because many school systems offer the shots for free so it’s really just parents claiming exemptions. This is why we promote getting rid of these exemptions in each state, so that getting vaccinated is mandatory in almost all cases.

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Why Families Should Receive the Flu Vaccine.

It is time to get your flu shot. Flu season is considered as starting in October and ending in May. The flu vaccine does not cause the flu, as many people seem to think. The flu can make a person sick for more than a week, and it is significantly worse than catching a common cold. An infant younger than 6 months old cannot receive the vaccine but older children and parents can and should because this protects the infant. This is very important because an infant is at a higher risk of suffering from serious complications of the flu.FluShotBug

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Vaccines for Children Program

Vaccines for Children (VFC) is an inspiring program that provides free vaccines to children whose families are otherwise unable to afford vaccines. For more information on the program, click here. This program is federally-funded, further supporting our view that the federal government should implement laws requiring certain vaccines for all children. If the federal government can provide vaccines for children who can’t afford them, then they can also implement federal regulations regarding these vaccines.

You can use the interactive map on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s website (linked to in the photo below) to contact your appropriate VFC coordinator who can help you enroll in the VFC program or answer any questions you may have.

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No correlation between vaccines and autism

Andrew Wakefield

Andrew Wakefield

In 1998, British gastroenterologist, Andrew Wakefield M.D., put out a study of 12 children who developed severe intestinal problems after being vaccinated with the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) shot.  These intestinal problems supposedly led to the children developing autism spectrum disorders (ASD).  One year after this study was released the American Academy for Pediatrics (AAP) released a warning about thimerosal, the mercury-containing preservative that has be found in most vaccines.  The warning stated that one of the possible side affects of these dangerous levels of mercury in infants is indeed autism.

A little less known fact is that this warning was later widely discredited along with Andrew Wakefield’s credibility.  According to CNN Health, Wakefield misrepresented the information for these 12 children, and is indisputably to blame for it.  Britain went on to strip Wakefield of his medical license in May of 2010. 

The biggest clue of this faulty study came to light when no other scientist could reproduce autism_vaccinesWakefield’s study.  This evidence almost seemed to come too late because it had already caused widespread panic among parents.  The dis-credited paper had led to a sharp drop in the number of children getting the vaccine that prevented measles, mumps, and rubella.  In Britain, the number fell 80% by 2004 resulting in measles cases jumping to record highs in the following years.    

EyeTVSnapshot[1]

In an interview with CNN’s Andreson Cooper, Wakefield defended his study by saying he is being targeted by the government in an attempt to crush anyone looking to studythe actual effectiveness of vaccines.  In short, he blames it on government control. 

retracted-lancetIn March 2013, NBC News Health released an article adamantly denying any connection between too many vaccines and autism spectrum disorders.  Researchers from the Center of Disease Control (CDC) did a counter study against Wakefield’s from 1994-1999 where they studied 256 children with autism and 752 who did not have the disorder.  They studied the types of vaccines given and how often and found absolutely no correlation.  In light of these findings, the CDC went even further to claim that Wakefield manipulated his information by studying children that were already ill before having the vaccines.  

 

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