What Are the Reasons to Vaccinate Your Baby
There's no greater joy than helping your baby grow up healthy and happy. That's why most parents choose immunization. Giving your baby the recommended immunizations by age two is the best way to protect him from 14 serious diseases, like measles and whooping cough.
Serious Diseases Are Still Out There
Reducing and eliminating the diseases that vaccines prevent is one of the top achievements in the history of public health. But, because of this success, most young parents have never seen the devastating effects that diseases like polio, measles, or whooping cough (pertussis) can have on a family or community. It's easy to think of these as diseases that only existed in the past. But the truth is they still exist. Children in the United States can—and do—still get some of these diseases. In fact, when vaccination rates drop in a community, it's not uncommon to have an outbreak.
Diseases Don't Stop at the Border, and Many Can Spread Easily
You may have never seen a case of polio or diphtheria, but they still occur in other countries. All it takes is a plane ride for these diseases to arrive in your community. One example is measles. Measles is not very common in the United States due to vaccination, but it is still common in many parts of the world. The disease is brought into the United States by unvaccinated travelers who are infected while abroad. After reaching this country, measles can spread quickly among unvaccinated people
Vaccines are the Safe, Proven Choice
The United States currently has the safest, most effective vaccine supply in its history. Before a vaccine is approved and given to children, it is tested extensively. Although there may be some discomfort or tenderness at the injection site, this is minor compared to the serious complications that can result from the diseases these vaccines prevent.
Children Need Protection Early
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) sets the U.S. childhood immunization schedule based on recommendations from the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP)—a group of medical and public health experts. The recommended childhood immunization schedule is designed to protect infants and children early in life, when they are most vulnerable.
To be fully immunized, children need all doses of the vaccines according to the recommended schedule. Not receiving the full number of doses leaves a child vulnerable to catching serious diseases. Call the Sherman County Health Department to find out if your baby is due for any vaccines.
Vaccines Mean Fewer Missed Work Days and School Days
A child who gets a vaccine-preventable disease may have to miss school or day care for many days or weeks. Time lost from work to care for a sick child can cause a financial burden for the family. These diseases can also cause lasting disabilities that result in expensive medical bills and long-term care.
Vaccination Protects Your Family, Friends, and Community
Getting your child vaccinated helps protect others in your community—like your neighbor who has cancer and cannot get certain vaccines, or your best friend's newborn baby who is too young to be fully vaccinated. When everyone in a community who can get vaccinated does get vaccinated, it helps to prevent the spread of disease and can slow or stop an outbreak. Choosing to protect your child with vaccines is also a choice to help protect your family, friends, and neighbors, too.