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What are the risks of Postponing or Avoiding Vaccinations in kids and children?

• Health officials are seeing alarming rises in preventable diseases.
• The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reported hundreds of measles cases in 2011.
• Most of these occurred in people who were not immunized against measles.
• Some parents wonder why their kids need immunizations if many of the diseases they protect against are no longer commonly seen.
• But the fact is that infectious diseases that are rare or nonexistent here (because of immunization programs) are still huge problems in many parts of the world.
• It’s also important to understand the concept of “community immunity” (or “herd immunity”).
• This is when the majority of a population is immunized against a contagious disease.
• This will thus provide a little opportunity for an outbreak.
• A single person’s chance of catching a disease is low if everyone else is immunized.
• But each person who isn’t immunized gives a highly contagious disease one more chance to spread.
• People who can’t receive certain vaccines like as infants, pregnant women, and those with compromised immune systems are also protected when most of the population is immunized.
• When parents decide not to vaccinate their kids, they not only put them at risk, but also others who cannot be vaccinated.
• Many parents worry about their children (especially infants) getting too many shots in one visit.
• They feel it might be “overwhelming” to the child’s “immature” immune system.
• This prompts them to request delaying or postponing some immunizations.
• There is no evidence to suggest that childhood vaccines can overload a baby’s immune system.
• On the contrary, babies are exposed to numerous bacteria and viruses on a daily basis.
• The added exposure from the vaccines is simply a drop full of addition.
• Similarly, giving “simultaneous” vaccines (more than one shot at the same time) or “combination” vaccines (more than one vaccine in a single shot) has not been shown to produce any different effects.
• But it does allow for immunizing kids as quickly as possible.
• They are protected during the vulnerable early months of their lives.
• Fewer office visits can be less traumatic for a child and can save the parents both time and money.
• Opinions differ on how strongly doctors should adhere to the standard vaccination schedule.
• Some pediatricians will try to accommodate a parent’s fears.
• They go against their own best medical advice in order to keep the peace.
• Immunization is the best way to protect kids from preventable diseases.
• A series of simple shots given from infancy to the teen years can fend off many major illnesses in millions of kids.
• The only time it’s safe to stop vaccinations is when a disease has been totally wiped out worldwide.
• Smallpox is one good example for such a disease.
• The risks of serious reactions to vaccinations are extremely small compared with the health risks associated with the often-serious diseases they can prevent.
• So if you see, hear, or read about side effects or downsides of immunization, speak with your doctor.
• It’s important to get all of the facts before making a decision to delay or skip an immunization.
• This is a choice that could affect not only your kids’ health but that of others.

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