As medicine advances, more and more diseases become curable and preventable. However, as more immunizations become available, some parents are starting to question whether to vaccinate their children. This is not only harmful to their child, but to society as well.
Child vaccination is an essential step in creating immunity to preventable diseases at a young age. Vaccines contain weakened antigens which cause the disease. This gets the body to produce antibodies which generate an immunity towards that specific disease, a process also called immunization. The perfect age to build up these immunities is in infants and young children, protecting them earlier on. Their mother’s antibodies protect infants for a few months after birth, but when these were off, infants are left completely vulnerable. By delaying vaccinations, the chances of catching a preventable disease increases as does mortality rates. Immunizations also save families time and money. The cost of treating preventable diseases is often high and can cause a child to be denied entrance into nurseries and schools.
While immunization is good for a child, it also benefits society as a whole. If enough people are vaccinated, diseases are unable to spread, preventing an outbreak in the population. This is referred to as herd Immunity or community immunity. The effects of herd immunity lessen when the number of vaccinated individuals decreases. Increasing the number of possible hosts for a disease increases the individuals risk of infection in a society. Measures such as these are vital for protecting those unable to be vaccinated because of weakened or failing immune systems. According to The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, those unable to be vaccinated include cancer patients, HIV/AIDS carriers, and individuals with type 1 diabetes.
Child Vaccination by Abigail is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.