Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Get Vaccinated

Yesterday I spoke on the need and lack of excuse for nearly all healthy individuals to get the flu vaccine.  Today I expand that to all vaccines.  Unfortunately there is a very strong anti-vaccine push out there that is increasing the number of vaccinated children and adults in society.  This is a very big concern and much of it has been and continues to be pushed by the very false claim that vaccines cause autism in children.  This is simply not true.  It has been studied extensively and there is absolutely no evidence that links vaccines to autism in children.

Vaccines not associated with risk of autism

Childhood vaccines: Tough questions, straight answers

To continue to believe that vaccines cause autism is to ignore every piece of scientific evidence out there.  I'll be blunt.  There is simply NO evidence that links vaccines to autism.

Vaccines save lives, it is as simple as that.  Is it possible to have minor side effects following a vaccine?  Yes, and this is normal.  These side effects are usually in the form of:

Several mild problems have been reported within 2 weeks of getting the vaccine:
  • headaches, upper respiratory tract infection (about 1 person in 3)
  • stuffy nose, sore throat, joint pain (about 1 person in 6)
  • abdominal pain, cough, nausea (about 1 person in 7)
  • diarrhea (about 1 person in 10)
  • fever (about 1 person in 100)

as stated by the CDC.  In much rarer cases there can be more severe side effects.  As stated by the CDC, these include:

More serious problems have been reported by about 1 person in 100, within 6 months of vaccination. These problems included:
  • blood in the urine or stool
  • pneumonia
  • inflammation of the stomach or intestines
It is not clear whether these mild or serious problems were caused by the vaccine or occurred after vaccination by chance.
Despite the possibility of minor, and in a few cases major, side effects, it is much better for you to get your vaccines than not.  Diseases that vaccines protect you against killed many, many people before there were vaccines.  Here's a great website that shows you how many people died EACH YEAR prior to the vaccine.
For example, before the smallpox vaccine, 29,000 people died each year from smallpox.  The number of people who contract smallpox (not die, but just contract) now is zero!  The power of vaccines in action!
Many people claim that choosing not to vaccinate themselves or not vaccinate their children is their choice and doesn't affect others.  WRONG!  Not vaccinating you or your children can have a great effect (negative) on society.  Some people can't receive vaccines due to weakened immune systems or allergic reactions.  The only protection these individuals have is through herd immunity.  If enough people are vaccinated in a geographical region, those individuals who can't receive the vaccination are protected because the disease can no longer easily transfer between people.  
Unfortunately some communities in the U.S. are not vaccinating themselves and the cases of previously rare diseases is quickly rising.  For example, the number of cases of measles in the U.S. has risen over the last few years and has exploded thus far in 2014.

The above graph highlights data presented by the CDC.  If you haven't already, please, please, please, do yourself and society a favor by vaccinating you and your children.  

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