Parents think up all sorts of excuses to stop or delay their children from getting vaccinated. While many just cannot bear to see the trauma their children go through from the fear of being jabbed with a sharp needle, others firmly believe vaccines are dangerous and can make their kids autistic.
However, they forget the fact that without vaccines, a child is vulnerable to diseases that used to kill millions back then when vaccines were not available.
For example, mumps, pertussis, measles, and whooping cough have made an unwelcome comeback and are more dangerous than ever since many kids are not vaccinated today.
Medical consequences of not getting vaccinated
An unvaccinated child faces lifelong risks even if he or she does not catch some of these diseases.
If they require treatment, a parent must inform the medical staff of the child’s vaccination status because those who are not vaccinated may require distinctive treatment.
If medical staff are not be well-versed in treating unvaccinated children, the risk tends to increase.
Pregnant women who are not vaccinated are likely to get infected with diseases that may cause complications in pregnancy.
For example, if a pregnant woman contracts rubella during her first trimester, her baby may be born with congenital rubella syndrome (CRS), which can potentially lead to heart defects, developmental delays and deafness.
Not vaccinating your children also puts others at risk. There are people whose medical conditions do not allow them to be vaccinated (those with leukaemia or other cancers).
These people must rely on other people being vaccinated so they are not at risk of exposure. If your children are not vaccinated and fall ill, other people around them are in danger, too.
Social consequences of not getting vaccinated
If your unvaccinated child falls sick or is exposed to certain diseases, complete exclusion from family and friends may be required, or even quarantine.
Your child will have to miss out on school and all forms of social gatherings. This may also influence your family as a whole.
In fact, there are schools that do not accept unvaccinated children, simply because they are trying to protect other children who go to the same school.
Weighing the risks
Vaccines do come with some side effects, just like any other type of medication. However, the benefits of vaccination clearly outweigh the risks. If a vaccine poses a real danger, it will not be approved.
The false claims about vaccines causing autism have led many parents to put their own children and others at risk of deadly diseases that could be prevented.
While there is no evidence to support this claim, statistics about the deaths caused by preventable diseases is undeniable.
Making sure your children get all the recommended vaccines is the only way to keep them and the whole community safe.
This article first appeared in hellodoktor.com and was reviewed by Dr Duyen Le. The Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.