Why should I immunize my child?
Many parents immunize their children, but are not really sure why it is recommended.
Not immunizing your child puts your child at risk for preventable childhood diseases. There is much debate over the risks of the disease versus the vaccine itself, but studies have shown that the risk of contracting the disease is greater than the risk of the side effects of the immunizations themselves.
While it seems like it is a routine occurrence, the decision to immunize your child is a big decision. The only way to make the best decision is to consider all the scientific facts from a medical professional. Your pediatrician can discuss the pros and cons of vaccinating your child. Your pediatrician cares about the health and welfare of your child and can provide you with the most up to date information, in a nonbiased manner.
In general, childhood immunizations work to prevent childhood diseases and have saved millions of lives for more than 40 years. On average, immunizations are between 90% to 98% effective in preventing the diseases they are meant to prevent. The remaining cases, where a child contracts the disease, will get a significantly milder case than if the immunization was not administrated.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) tests all vaccines on the market for effectiveness and safety. Once the FDA have done its part, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the American Academy of Pediatrics review the information again before the immunization is released to the public. A recommendation is given only after all these agencies come to a consensus that the immunization is safe and necessary to guard against the disease. After the immunization is approved, the FDA regulates how the immunizations are made and what they are made of. The process is comprehensive and based on scientific evidence.