Pro and Con of Vaccinations: Things You Should Know

Recently there have been many statements made by critics about why you should not get vaccinations, or allow your children to be vaccinated. Although this is not a large part of the medical community, the question about whether or not they are necessary is still in debate. There are many pros and cons of vaccinations. The direction that your scale tilts will largely depend on whom you talk to and whom you trust.

Pros and Cons of Vaccinations

Pros

1. Most healthcare professionals believe in their effectiveness.

It is commonly believed that vaccinations are the main cause of decline in childhood ailments. It is also strongly believed that vaccinations aid in maintaining personal health when entering adulthood.

2. Prevent life threatening illnesses.

Many of the illnesses and epidemics that killed thousands of people in the past no longer exist due to vaccinations. However, there are still some countries that carry the diseases so having the vaccination is a great precaution.

3. Protect you when you travel.

Simply because a disease such as measles no longer exists in the U.S. does not mean that it does not exist in other countries. When you receive a vaccination, you receive protection from illnesses that you may not encounter in your own country.

4. Receive it once and be protected for life.

Once you receive a vaccination, you will no longer have to treat the potentially life threatening illness again. You also lower your health risks when you obtain proper vaccinations.

5. Mostly simple and painless.

Although there are some vaccinations that cause slight pain in the injection area, most of them are painless. They are also very inexpensive compared to the medical bills that you could be paying if you do contract one of the more severe diseases such as polio and measles.

Cons

1. Most vaccinations are only 90-95% effective.

Although the vaccination will protect 95% of the population against the disease, there is still 5% that may contract the disease. The thought that vaccinations protect against the disease 100% gives parents false hope. It allows parents to believe that their child will never contract the disease even though there is still a 5-10% chance that they will.

2. Some people are more susceptible than others.

A child whose mother used intravenous drugs during pregnancy is more susceptible to hepatitis and other diseases than a child born to a drug free mother.

3. It is not possible to eradicate all diseases.

It is completely impossible to rid the world of all diseases. Not only do they constantly adapt and change, but different countries have different diseases. Plus, many fall ill after receiving a vaccination. Some believe that vaccinations are only creating new diseases.

4. Contradiction to moral beliefs.

Many people do not believe that they should be forced into taking compulsory actions. Many states allow exemptions for moral and religious beliefs, however many require that children have certain vaccinations before attending school. This leaves part of society in unrest because they are being forced to do something that they believe is immoral.

5. Immunity lasts longer if it is created by natural circumstances.

When a person contracts a disease, such as chickenpox, their body has to create an antibody to fight off the virus. This gives the body a chance to create a natural immunity that lasts longer than a vaccination created immunity.

Common Types of Vaccination

There are many types of vaccinations; however, there are two common types of vaccinations that many people have heard about. Using the pros and cons of vaccinations you are able to determine for yourself whether or not you feel you need the following vaccinations. It is important to remember that some of these the schools require children to have before they attend class.

1. DPT (Diptheria, Pertussis, Tetanus)

The most common combination is diphtheria toxoid, tetanus toxoid, and pertussis vaccine which create a trivalent mixture. However, there is a bivalent mixture that is often used which only contains diphtheria toxoid and tetanus toxoid.

2. Diptheria

Diptheria is a rare disease today, with less than 100 cases diagnosed a year. This is most commonly given to children under 7 in four separate doses. Unless there is a reaction to the previous dose, the series of doses is continued. After receiving the vaccination, your child may experience tenderness or edema at the injection site and may even have a low grade fever for a few days. Infants only have the passive immunity for the first 6 months of life, unless they are breast fed.

3. Pertussis

Commonly known as whooping cough, this disease is caused by Bordatella pertussis which only has about 2,000 diagnoses a year. Newborns are susceptible to this disease even if the mother is immunized, which is why it is recommend that they receive the four dose series followed by a booster between the ages of 4 and 6.

After the age of 6, the child has an increased risk of side effects. Some believe that there are neurological disorders connected to this vaccination; however this contradiction currently has an unknown status. One of the main side effects is continual screaming episodes, unresponsive crying, and a fever of 105°F or greater, convulsion, collapse, encephalopathy, and inflammatory changes.

4. Tetanus

A potent neurotoxin is created by clostridium tetani and in anaerobic circumstances it can cause lockjaw. Only about 100 cases are reported each year with 40% fatality. Only immunizing agents can create immunity to tetanus; however a newborn is immune if the mother already has immunity. It is highly recommended that you get a tetanus vaccination every 10 years to maintain your immunity.

5. Poliomyelitis

Only 20 cases of polio are recorded each year. Vaccines build immunity to the poliomyelitis using three doses given by the age of two, followed by a booster given at the age of 5. The vaccine may be given orally or through injection. Some contradictions include an immune deficiency disease and altered immune status.

6. MMR (Measles, Mumps, Rubella)

Most of the time, this trivalent vaccine is given at 15 months of age. Some opt to have them given separately.

Measles (Rubeola)

A highly weakened strain of the rubella virus is given as a vaccination. It is unknown how long the immunity actually lasts, but many studies have shown that it lasts at least 15 years. A naturally immunity created from actually contracting the disease and fighting it off will last a lifetime.

Some contradictions include acute febrile illness and immunodeficiency diseases. Some side effects include moderate fever or a mild skin rash.

Mumps

This vaccine is also created from an extremely weakened strain of the mumps virus. The mumps virus is self-limited and will provide a lifetime immunity if contracted. The duration of the vaccine is unknown; however it has been shown to last at least 12 years. Most of the time mumps do not result in permanent dysfunction; however it may cause unilateral nerve deafness. A child is immune up to about 12 months if the mother has been immunized prior to birth. The only known side effect to the vaccine is localized, mild inflammation.

 
 
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