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The Vaccination Decision

Remember the last time your child contracted polio or diphtheria? How about mumps or whooping cough? Neither do I, that's because I had my two boys, Ford and Witt, vaccinated. It pained me to see them cry when they got their shots but I knew it was preventing something so much worse. To me it was not a choice at all, there was no doubt in my mind that it was the right thing to do for them as well as any other children they come in contact with. Every fall, they receive their flu shot as well.

Vaccines help develop herd immunity. It allows for children who cannot receive vaccines because of a medical condition to still be protected by having those around them not carrying diseases. It is the right thing to do. It is the right thing for us to do for our children. We owe it to them.
Vaccines save lives. Vaccinations are considered the number one public health achievement of the last century. They save approximately 2.5 million lives a year. They also prevent billions of dollars in extra health care costs. Not to mention prevention of lost work hours because we are not home taking care of a sick child or ourselves.

Vaccines are safe. Tightly regulated standards are in place when it comes to creating vaccines. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) closely controls how and where vaccines are made. Every lot of vaccines is tested and tested again to ensure safety. Vaccines do not cause autism. The initial claim of a link between vaccines and autism was shown to be fraudulent. Multiple studies have shown no link between vaccines and autism.

Vaccines are necessary. There are many diseases that are all but wiped off the planet due to vaccines. Not only is it important to have children vaccinated, it is also important to vaccinate yourself, this includes flu shots, the shingles shot, whooping cough booster as well as tetanus and many others. Vaccines keep kids healthy and playing. They keep adults healthy and working. They keep seniors active and able to enjoy/spoil their grandchildren.

The choice of whether or not to vaccinate your children or yourself is a personal decision, so be sure you have all the correct information before deciding. Do your own research, credible research from trusted scientific sources. If a website wants to sell you something or has an alternative to vaccines for purchase, it probably isn’t a reliable source. If it uses words or phrases that are intended for shock value and are meant to scare you, it isn’t a reputable source. Do not listen to celebrities; they do not know any more or less about medicine than anyone walking down the street. Do not do your research on social media; there are way too many stories and urban legends that have little to no truth in them what so ever. Do ask your health care provider for information in regard to vaccine safety. They can provide you with the most up to date and accurate information to help you make the most informed decisions. They can also inform you of the consequences that are a result of choosing not to vaccinate.

The decision is yours, choose wisely.

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