Over two million deaths worldwide are prevented by vaccination each year. Young children in developing countries die mostly from neonatal tetanus, pertussis, Haemophilus influenza B, and measles. And all of them are preventable by vaccination. The reason behind these deaths is mainly due to their missing vaccinations – be it due to a delay in getting the shots, lack of access, or any number of reasons.
Here in the States, access to vaccination is considerably easier. And yet, many parents delay or entirely skip vaccinations for their children. Read on to learn about ten reasons why this is a bad idea:
Incidence of the disease increases
It is a well-known fact that the incidence of some of the most serious infectious diseases, like polio and smallpox, saw a drastic reduction mainly due to the vaccination programs. Without vaccination, there would be constant cases of polio-related deaths and disabilities, and smallpox infections and deaths. So vaccination is crucial in order to keep these infectious diseases in check.
The chances of getting an infection are higher
When you are not vaccinating your children, they become prone to infections. For instance, when you miss giving them the pertussis vaccine, their chances of getting whooping cough are higher, since they are unprotected. Most diseases are airborne or waterborne, and it is very hard to detect the presence of microbes in the air or water. Since microbes in the air and water are unavoidable beyond a point, vaccination is the only way to avoid these infectious diseases
The effects of illness will be more profound
Let us consider once more the example of a parent not getting their child the pertussis vaccine. If the child gets infected with the microbe and develops a whooping cough, the symptoms will be more severe than in a person who is vaccinated against the disease. The severity of the disease will lead to other complications, and sometimes even death. This is what happens when you miss a vaccine – even contracting a less severe disease will lead to very severe outcomes.
Leads to other co-infections
Some vaccinations not only protect the child against one disease. Rather they offer protection even against other related microbes, with similar properties. As a result, missing a vaccination may lead to your child being infected by these other microbes. Also sometimes, a current infection might bring down the overall immunity level in your child, making him or her a target for other infections.
Cost of treating the disease will be higher
The cost of the vaccine is far lower than the cost of treating the effects of the disease. The economic burden of treating a disease as well as the long term consequences like disability (polio) is colossal.
If your child misses a vaccination and ends up getting a disease, the guilt will be overwhelming for you. It gets even worse if your child suffers a long-term illness or disability as a result. Moreover, your child will suffer psychologically as well – facing problems of low confidence and low self-esteem. Having your child grow up disabled and/or plagued by illness simply because you skipped out on their vaccinations is not a cross you should have to bear. So avoid this unfortunate situation by ensuring your child gets their vaccines.
Related to the above point. If your child is not vaccinated and consequently suffers from some kind of debilitating or infectious disease, their future social life will be significantly affected in a number of adverse manners. They will find a number of professional and educational opportunities to be out of their reach owing to their condition, and their opportunities to interact with peers and be an active member of society will be limited. So it is your duty, as a parent, to spare your child a lifetime of strife, by ensuring they get vaccinated on time.
Affects future generations
Another feature of infectious diseases is that, if not prevented, they can affect future generations. So if you vaccinate your child today, you are not only helping your child lead a better life, but helping secure the future of your children’s children, and beyond.
Overall burden to the economy
Diseases, especially infectious ones, have serious economic consequences – at both a personal and national level. The cost of missing a vaccination is massive – whether it is to be borne by you, or by the government. When the infection sets in, the cost of healthcare, hospital admission, medicines, etc. proves to be astronomical. So vaccination at the right time is definitely the far more economically prudent decision.
Cripples the family as a whole
Missing the child’s vaccination cripples the entire family. If your child misses the vaccination and is infected with a disease, they might become bedridden, or at any rate, over-dependent on others. This necessitates someone from the family has to become a constant caregiver for the child – which especially becomes a problem in single-parent families, or even in families where both parents work. Furthermore, the health care costs can financially cripple your family, especially if you do not have good insurance. So to spare your family financial and other hardship, make sure your child is vaccinated.
As you would have gathered by now, the adverse consequences of skipping or delaying your child’s vaccinations are many – for your child, for your family, and even for society at large. Avoid these consequences by making sure that your child gets that much-needed shot in time.