Childhood Vaccinations Research
If you have a child or would want to have a child in the future, you probably would do anything to keep your child safe from dangers you can see, but are you doing enough to keep your child safe from diseases that you can not see? "Although the national immunization rate has remained stable over the past decade (76 percent of children ages 19 to 35 months were up-to-date on all of their shots in 2008), that's still short of the government's goal of 80 percent (Heyworth). This statistic indicates that about 24% of children in the United States are vulnerable to catching a disease that can easily be prevented with immunizations.
Children receive many vaccinations from the time of birth, until they reach the age of 18 depending on when a parent decides to vaccinate their child. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) here is a list of vaccinations that a child can receive in chronological order "The first vaccine is the Hepatitis B (HepB) vaccine and a child can receive this vaccine at birth. This vaccine works in a series of 3 doses. The first does is given at birth, the second dose is given 1 month to 2 months of age, and the third dose is given from 6 months to 18 months. The second vaccine is the Rotavirus (RV) RV1 (2-dose series); RV5 (3-dose series) and a child can receive this vaccine at 2 months of age. This vaccine works in a series depending on which specific vaccine you decide to use. The first dose for any of the vaccines is given at 2 months, the second dose of any of the vaccines is given at 4 months, and if you choose to either use the RotaTeq vaccine, then a third dose is given at 6 months. The third vaccine is the Diphtheria and tetanus toxoids and acellular pertussis (DTaP) vaccine. This vaccine works in a series of 5 doses. The first dose is given at 2 months, the second dose is given at 4 months, the third dose is given at 6 months, the fourth dose is given at 15 to 18 months, and the final dose is given at 4 to 6 years of age. The fourth vaccine is the Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) conjugate vaccine PRP-T [ActHIB, DTap-IPV/Hib(Pentacel), Hiberix, and Hib-MenCY (MenHibrix)], PRP-OMP [PedvaxHIB]. This vaccine works in a series depending on which specific vaccine you decide to use. The first dose for any of the vaccines is given at 2 months, the second dose of any of the vaccines is given at 4 months, the third dose for the primary series with ActHIB, MenHibrix, Hiberix, or Pentacel is given at 6 months whereas the primary series with PedvaxHIB does not need a third dose, and a booster dose for any of the vaccines is given at 12 to 15 months of age. The fifth vaccine is the Pneumococcal (PCV13 or PPSV23) vaccine. This vaccine works in a series depending on which specific vaccine you decide to use. The PCV13 is given in a series of 4 doses. The first dose is given at 2 months, the second dose is given at 4 months, the third dose is given at 6 months and the last dose is given at 12 to 15 months. The PCV23 is given if a child has not yet received PCV13 by age 6 to 18 years. In this case administer 1 dose of PCV13 and then one dose of PPSV23 after 8 weeks. The sixth vaccine is the Inactivated Poliovirus vaccine (IPV). This vaccine works in a series of 4 doses. The first dose is given at 2 months, the second dose is given at 4 months, the third dose is given at 6 to 18 months, and the final dose is given at 4 to 6 years of age. The seventh vaccine is the Influenza vaccine (IIV or RIV). Each vaccine is given in one dose unless it is your first time then 2 doses are needed. The IIR vaccine is given annually at an age of 6 months and the RIV vaccine is given at 18 years of age. The eight vaccine is the Measles, Mumps, and Rubella (MMR) vaccine. This vaccine is given in a series of 2 doses. The first dose is given at 12 to 15 months and the second dose is given at 4 to 6 years of age. The ninth vaccine is the Varicella (VAR) vaccine. This vaccine is given in a series of 2 doses. The first dose in the series is given at 12 to 15 months and the second is given at 4 to 6 years of age. The tenth vaccine is the hepatitis A (HepA) vaccine. This vaccine is given in a series of 2 doses. The first dose in the series is given at 12 to 23 months and the second dose is given 6 to 18 months after the first dose. The eleventh vaccine is the Meningococcal vaccines (Hib-MenCY [MenHibrix] MenACWY-CRM [Menveo] MenACWY-D [Menactral] serogroup B meningococcal [MenB] MenB-4C [Bexsero] MenB-FHbp [Trumenba]). This vaccine is given as a single dose at 11 to 12 years of age and a booster is given at 16 years of age. The twelfth vaccine is the Tetnaus and Diphtheria Toxoids and Acellular Pertussis (Tdap) vaccine. This vaccine is given as a single dose at 11 to 12 years of age. The thirteenth and final vaccine is the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine. This vaccine is given in a series of 2 doses. The first dose is given at 11 to 12 years of age and the second dose is given 6 to 12 months after the first dose. This vaccine can however start at 9 years of age. (CDC)."
The reason a children get vaccines is to prevent them from contracting a disease in the future. Here are a list of diseases that the vaccines help protect you from according to Family Doctor "The flu vaccine is given to a child every year because the virus tends to change each year. It is important for a child to receive this vaccine because if a child contracts the flu, they are more likely to have a complication from the disease than an adult would. The DTap vaccine is given because it protects a child from diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis which can become deadly. Diphtheria is a disease that can attack your throat and your heart which can cause heart failure and lead to death. Tetanus is a disease that can cause severe muscle spasms and can lead to death. Tetanus is also known as lockjaw. Pertussis can lead to severe coughing. This can lead to pneumonia, brain damage, convulsions, and possibly death. The rotavirus vaccine is given because it helps protect you against the rotavirus which can cause diarrhea which can lead to dehydration. This virus can also cause vomiting and possibly a fever. The IPV vaccine is given because it helps to prevent you from contracting polio which can cause muscle pain and even paralysis in your legs and arms. Polio is dangerous because it can also paralyze your muscles that you use to breathe and swallow which can then lead to death. The MMR vaccine is given because it helps prevent you from contracting measles, mumps, and rubella. The measles can lead to some minor problems such as a fever, rash, cough, runny nose, or watery eyes. There can also be some more severe problems such as an ear infection or pneumonia but the worst problem that the measles can lead to is brain swelling and death. The mumps can lead to a fever, headache, and swelling of your saliva glands. The mumps can also cause meningitis and also brain swelling but that is very rare. In boys or men it is very uncommon, but the testicles can swell which make them unable to produce children. Rubella can lead to a fever, rash, and swelling of the glands in the neck. It can also cause the brain to swell or have problems associated to bleeding. A pregnant woman who catches this virus can lose her baby, have a baby who can be deaf or blind, or who can have difficulty learning. Rubella is also known as German measles. The Hib vaccine is given to help prevent from the Haemphilus influenzatype b which can cause meningitis, pneumonia, and possibly a throat infection. The varicella vaccine is given to help prevent the chickenpox. The HBV vaccine is given to help prevent hepatitis B which can cause an infection in the liver which can lead to liver cancer and cause death. The pneumococcal conjugate vaccine is given to help prevent a bacteria that is common cause of an ear infection that can also lead to meningitis and bacteremia which is an infection of the blood stream. The meningococcal conjugate vaccine is given to help protect again 4 different strains of bacterial meningitis which causes an infection of the fluid around the brain and spinal cord. This infection is very serious and can cause a high fever, headache, stiff neck, and confusion. The infection can be serious and cause brain damage, hearing loss, and blindness. The HPV vaccine is given to help prevent the human pappilomavirus infection which can lead to cervical cancer and genital warts (FamilyDoctor)."
A big concern that has come into parents minds is that vaccinations lead to autism. The idea that autism is linked to vaccinations came up in 1998 when Andrew Wakefield published a study in which 12 children received the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine that had intestinal problems and he believed that this led to autism. There have been "at least seven large studies in major medical journals have now found no association between the MMR vaccine and ASD -- and this February, The Lancet officially retracted Dr. Wakefield's original paper (Heyworth). Parents need to do more research before they deprive their children of vaccinations that can be very beneficial.
Religion has become a major aspect of many people's lives. Almost every religion has a book or a set of commandments to live your life by and some of these conflict with giving vaccinations to a child. Parents argue that "the moral opposition to these vaccines is due to the acquisition of the initial cell lines in which vaccine viruses are grown, from voluntarily aborted fetuses (Chatterjee; O'Keefe)." The vaccines that are against certain religions include the single-antigen vaccine against rubella, the multiantigen vaccine against MMR, the single-antigen vaccine against chickenpox, and the vaccine against hepatitis A.
Vaccinations are generally safe but there is a concern because a very small percentage of people can get side effects. Some of the side effects from a vaccination include a fever, soreness, or a lump under the skin where a shot was given. Vaccines in general are considered safe because "the protection provided by vaccines far outweighs the very small risk of serious problems (familydoctor)." There is a risk in anything you do and people need to understand that some risks are worth it. Everyday when you get into your car there is a chance you can get into a car accident, but that doesn't stop everyone from driving so why should you deprive a child of vaccinations that can be so beneficial to them.
There have not been a lot of major outbreaks here in the United States and because of this many parents decide not to vaccinate their child because they believe that the disease is non-existent. When you live in a first world country, you are better off than most people who do not have access to healthcare. Many of the disease that you are getting vaccinated are very common in third world countries where healthcare systems are very small or nonexistent. If a person travels to a country where a disease is common, it can easily be transmitted to an individual who is not vaccinated and that can then in turn be very contagious if they bring that disease back to the United States where 24% of children are not up-to-date on all of their vaccinations.
Vaccinations have become a common practice for parents to give to their children when they are young in hopes that they will live a long, healthy life. Some people decide not to get vaccinated for a number of reason because they may not understand all of the benefits that come along with receiving them. There are some risks in getting vaccinated, but it is a very small percentage and the benefits outweigh the risks by a long shot. Parents should seriously consider making the right decision regarding their child's health because many of these shots are given before a child can even speak, let alone understand all of the potential dangers that may occur later in life if they are left without a vaccination.Work Cited
Bronfin, Daniel R. "Childhood Immunization Controversies: What Are Parents Asking?" The Ochsner Journal. US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health
Chatterjee, Archana, and Catherine O'Keefe. "Current Controversies in the USA Regarding Vaccine Safety." Medscape
"Childhood Vaccines: What They Are and Why Your Child Needs Them." Family Doctor. American Academy of Family Physicians
Heyworth, Kelley King. "Vaccines: The Reality Behind the Debate." Parents. Meredith Womens Network
"Immunization Schedules for Infants and Children." Immunization Schudules. U.S. Department of Health & Human Services
"Recommended Immunization Schedule for Children and Adolescents Aged 18 Years or Younger, UNITED STATES, 2017." Infants, Children, and Teens. U.S. Department of Health & Human Services
"Should Any Vaccines Be Required for Children?" THE LEADING SOURCE FOR PROS & CONS OF CONTROVERSIAL ISSUES.