Vaccines have been around for over 200 years, and since then, there have been dramatic decreases in deaths and disabilities from diseases such as measles, polio, tetanus, pneumonia, and whooping cough, to name a few. We give the majority of vaccines to children, the most vulnerable, in order to protect them against these diseases.
Keeping your child up-to-date with their vaccines is as important as choosing the foods they eat and the medicines they take to keep them healthy. But we know that many of you still have some concerns when it comes to vaccinations.
Some of the common questions and concerns we hear are:
- Why does my child need so many vaccines?
The body slowly builds immunity to disease with vaccines. Some of the vaccines work best by giving repeated doses every couple of months. The American Association of Pediatrics has carefully designed a vaccine schedule that will protect your child the best.
- Those diseases don’t even exist anymore—why do I need to vaccinate my child?
It’s easy to feel like polio and the measles are yesterday’s problem. But these diseases are not gone—they are only under control because of vaccinations. Even today, there are measles outbreaks like the recent one in Washington state that happen when vaccination levels fall within a community.
- Vaccines cause autism in children
No scientific study or data has been able to support this connection—period. For more information, read here.
- Is there a vaccine that can protect against cancer?
Yes! There are actually two. Both the hepatitis B and human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccines can prevent cancer. Even though the risk of cancer doesn’t develop until later in life, we recommend getting these vaccines as a child when they can have the most protective effect.
As a parent, we make so many choices for our kids — from diaper brand, to diet, to type of daycare, to how we teach our children about the world they live in. With so much conflicting information available, these choices can be difficult. It’s natural to feel uncertain as you try to make the best choices for your child. Luckily, there is one choice that is easy, safe, and protects all of us: vaccinations.
If you are still unsure about vaccination, talk to your primary care provider. Your provider can help talk you through your concerns. Below are some additional resources with information about vaccinations, discussing your concerns with your provider, and recommended vaccination schedules.
Additional Resources about Vaccinations: