Every year the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) highlight the importance of immunization with National Immunization Awareness Month, but healthcare professionals across the country stress that getting immunized is important year-round. Immunization is crucial, regardless of an individual’s age, color, or gender – it is the most cost-effective means for preventing a number of diseases.
Immunizations are important for a variety of reasons. By receiving an immunization for a disease, a person defends him or herself against catching that disease. But the benefits do not stop there; society gains a collective immunization as more and more people become immune to a particular disease. Once a collective immunization has been established, once-dangerous diseases can be eradicated. Polio, for example, was eliminated in the United States in 1979 after vaccinations became widespread. The CDC estimates 21 million hospitalizations and 732,000 deaths will be avoided among children born in the last 20 years as a result of vaccines.
Of course, children can be especially vulnerable to a variety of diseases because their immune systems take some time to fully develop. Because of advances in medical science, your child can be protected against more diseases than ever before. Some diseases that once injured or killed thousands of children, have been eliminated completely and others are close to extinction– primarily due to safe and effective vaccines.
Unfortunately, there is a growing trend across the country against vaccination. Many well-intentioned parents fall victim to false and misleading information on the Internet and delay or forego entirely getting their children vaccinated against a number of common diseases such as measles, chickenpox, whooping cough, and others. As a result, many of these all-but-vanquished diseases are making a comeback.
Here are five important reasons for getting your child vaccinated:
- Immunizations can save your child’s life
- Vaccines are highly safe and effective
- Immunization protects others, too
- Immunizations can save your family time and money
- Vaccines protect future generations
In fact, vaccines aren’t just for children – adults need them, too. Vaccines are recommended throughout a person’s lifetime, with specific immunizations associated with different age groups such as infants, young children, preteens, adults, and older adults.
Now, more than ever, as we continue to fight the deadly coronavirus pandemic here and across the globe, immunization and vaccines will play an even more critical role. By receiving an immunization for a disease, such as the flu and, shortly, the coronavirus, a person defends him or herself against catching that disease.
It takes years of development and testing before a vaccine is approved as safe and effective. Scientists and doctors at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) study the research before approving a vaccine. They also inspect pharmaceutical facilities where vaccines are produced to make sure all rules are being followed. After the vaccine is released to the public, the FDA continues to monitor its use to make sure there are no safety issues. As a result, vaccines are safe, and the benefits they provide far outweigh any risks of immunization side effects. This is the most effective and proven way to stop diseases and begin to reverse their effects on society and the general health of our nation and countries around the world.