This is part of my on-going series of posts on Health Care for Christian Scientists & Former Christian Scientists.
I have done my best to collect accurate information about vaccines so that you can make an informed decision. If you have any questions or concerns about vaccinations for yourself or your children, please talk to your doctor/health care professional.
From the CDC’s official website:
A vaccine stimulates your immune system to produce antibodies, exactly like it would if you were exposed to the disease. After getting vaccinated, you develop immunity to that disease, without having to get the disease first.
- Vaccine-preventable diseases haven’t gone away. The truth is, the viruses and bacteria that cause illness and death still exist and can be passed on to people who are not protected by vaccines. And in a time when people can travel across the globe in just one day, it’s not hard to see just how easily diseases can travel too.
- Vaccines will help keep you healthy. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends vaccinations from birth through adulthood to provide a lifetime of protection against many diseases and infections, such as influenza, pneumococcal disease, human papillomavirus and hepatitis A and B. Yet most adults are not vaccinated as recommended, leaving them needlessly vulnerable to illness and long-term suffering.
- Vaccines are as important to your overall health as diet and exercise. Like eating right, exercising and getting regular screenings for diseases such as colon and breast cancer, vaccines can also play a vital role in keeping you healthy. Vaccines are one of the simplest, most convenient preventive care measures available.
- Vaccination can mean the difference between life and death. Vaccine-preventable infections kill more Americans annually, than HIV/AIDS, breast cancer or traffic accidents. Approximately 50,000 adults die each year from vaccine-preventable diseases in the U.S.
- Vaccines are safe and effective. Vaccines are among the safest medical products available and can prevent the suffering and costs associated with infectious diseases. The potential risks associated with the diseases that vaccines prevent are much greater than the potential risks from the vaccines themselves.
- Vaccines won’t give you the disease they are designed to prevent. You cannot “catch” the disease from the vaccine. Some vaccines contain “killed” virus, and it is impossible to get the disease from them. Others have live, but weakened, viruses designed to ensure that you cannot catch the disease.
- Young and healthy people can get very sick, too. While it’s true that infants and the elderly are at greater risk for serious infections and complications, vaccine-preventable diseases can strike anyone. If you’re young and healthy, getting vaccinated can help you stay that way.
- Vaccine-preventable diseases are expensive. These illnesses not only have a direct impact on individuals, but also carry a high price tag for society as a whole, exceeding $10 billion per year in direct medical costs and indirect societal costs, such as lost work days. Looking at influenza as an example makes it easy to see why these illnesses are so expensive. An uncomplicated influenza illness can last up to 15 days, with restricted activity for five to six days, including three or four days of bed rest.
- When you get sick, your children, grandchildren and parents are at risk, too. When you get sick, you can spread the illness to your children, grandchildren and parents, infecting them as well. In general, vaccine-preventable diseases are more serious for the very young and the very old. So when you get vaccinated to protect yourself, you’re protecting your family as well.
- Your family and coworkers need you. Each year, millions of Americans get sick from vaccine-preventable diseases, causing them to miss work and leaving them unable to care for those who depend on them, including their children and/or aging parents.
Official US Government sites:
- The Department of Health & Human Services http://www.vaccines.gov/
- The Center for Disease Control (CDC) http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/
- The World Health Organization (WHO) http://www.who.int/topics/vaccines/en/
Institutions & Associations
- American Academy of Pediatrics: http://www2.aap.org/immunization/
- Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Vaccine Education Center http://www.chop.edu/service/vaccine-education-center/home.html
Other websites of possible interest:
- Vaccines.org http://www.vaccines.org/
- Dr. Sears on Vaccinations http://www.askdrsears.com/topics/vaccines
Vaccinations & Children
- American Academy of Pediatrics – HealthyChildren.org
- CDC VFC Vaccines for Children http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/programs/vfc/index.html
Vaccines & Autism
- CDC – Concerns about Autism
- American Academy of Pediatrics – MMR Vaccine, Autism & Andrew Wakefield
- Autism Speaks – Information about Vaccines & Autism
Vaccines & Travel
- CDC Traveler’s Health http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/
History of Vaccines
- College of Physicians of Philadelphia’s History of Vaccinations http://www.historyofvaccines.org/
- CDC’s Vaccine History of Safety http://www.cdc.gov/vaccinesafety/vaccine_monitoring/history.html
- Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia History of Vaccination Schedule http://www.chop.edu/service/vaccine-education-center/vaccine-schedule/history-of-vaccine-schedule.html
- Measles Outbreak in a Highly Vaccinated Population, San Diego, 2008: Role of the Intentionally Undervaccinated http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/early/2010/03/22/peds.2009-1653.abstract
- Forbes: How Vaccines have Changed our World in one Graphic
- NYTimes A Multitude of Vaccine Benefits, Yet Controversy Persists (Mar 28, 2008)
- Scientific American: Vaccines
- NPR Schedule Of Childhood Vaccines Declared Safe
- Huffington Post: Vaccines & Autism: Controversy Persists, But Why?
Please remember, this is intended to offer people support, ideas, and resources. It is not in any way intended to be a substitute for medical advice or care. Please see a health care professional if you have concerns, especially if your concern is serious!
If there are any topics or information I’m missing, or that you would like me to address, please leave a comment, or e-mail me at: kat (dot) at (dot) kindism (at) gmail (dot) com