Importance of Immunizations
Vaccines are among the most successful and cost effective public health tools available for preventing disease and death. They not only help protect vaccinated individuals, but also help protect entire communities by preventing and reducing the spread of infectious diseases.
Immunization is a shared responsibility. Families, healthcare professionals, and public health officials must work together to help protect the entire community.
Because of the success of vaccines in preventing disease, parents may not have heard of some of today’s vaccines or the serious diseases they prevent. These diseases can be especially serious for infants and young children. That is why it is important to follow the recommended immunization schedule to protect infants and children by providing immunity early in life, before they are exposed to potentially life-threatening diseases.
Vaccine-preventable diseases still circulate in the United States and around the world, so continued vaccination is necessary to protect everyone from potential outbreaks. Even when diseases are rare in the U.S., they can be brought into the country, putting unvaccinated children at risk. One example of the seriousness of vaccine-preventable diseases is the increase in measles cases or outbreaks that have been reported in a several states, including Utah, during 2015.
Because protection from the DTaP vaccine fades over time, adolescents and adults need Tdap, even if they were completely vaccinated with DTaP as children. Getting vaccinated with Tdap is especially important for family members with and caregivers of new infants. Tdap vaccine is recommended for adolescents and adults up to 64 years of age, including pregnant women.
Five Important Reasons to Vaccinate Your Child
Immunizations can save your child’s life. Because of advances in medical science, your child can be protected against more diseases than ever before. Some diseases that once injured or killed thousands of children, have been eliminated completely and others are close to extinction– primarily due to safe and effective vaccines.
Vaccination is very safe and effective. Serious side effects following vaccination, such as severe allergic reaction, are very rare. The disease-prevention benefits of getting vaccines are much greater than the possible side effects for almost all children.
Immunization protects others you care about. Children in the U.S. still get vaccine-preventable diseases. Unfortunately, some babies are too young to be completely vaccinated and some people may not be able to receive certain vaccinations. To help keep them safe, it is important that you and your children who are able to get vaccinated are fully immunized. This not only protects your family, but also helps prevent the spread of these diseases to your friends and loved ones.
Immunizations can save your family time and money. A child with a vaccine-preventable disease can be denied attendance at schools or daycare facilities. Some vaccine-preventable diseases can result in prolonged disabilities and can take a financial toll because of lost time at work, medical bills or long-term disability care.
Immunization protects future generations. Vaccines have reduced and, in some cases, eliminated many diseases that killed or severely disabled people just a few generations ago. If we continue vaccinating now, and vaccinating completely, parents in the future may be able to trust that some diseases of today will no longer be around to harm their children in the future.