Scientific research indicates an increased likelihood of infecting unvaccinated pupils with diseases that can be prevented by vaccination. Since no vaccine is 100% effective, some vaccinated children can become infected by contact with a child who has not been vaccinated. Outbreaks of such diseases in schools with unvaccinated students are more likely. It is worthwhile to clarify that these immunization schedules are reviewed annually to reflect current recommendations on the use of vaccines licensed by the US Food and Drug Administration. A significant part of childhood diseases is associated with infectious diseases, the consequences of which can be dire.
One of the most effective methods to prevent undesirable effects is preventive vaccines. Vaccination is a state program that allows you to protect each child for the first time years of life. Thanks to a vaccination prevention program, the world has got rid of diseases such as smallpox, the number of cases of polio and other types of viruses has decreased so vaccination for children is necessary.
Vaccination is needed for absolutely everyone, including newborns, children, adolescents and adults. There are generally recognized immunization schedules. They describe the necessary vaccines for each person, and also indicate the age at which immunization should be given. Most vaccinations are done in childhood. It is estimated that by the age of 6 the child should receive a total of 14 different injections. Some of them are a series of injections. Others are available in a combined form, thereby reducing the required number of vaccinations. Health professionals agree that immunization is necessary to prevent the spread of contagious diseases.
It is necessary because scientists and physicians around the world have developed methods that change the property of microorganisms that cause many infectious diseases. The vaccine, entering the human body, creates additional protection of the immune system. Further, the immune system produces special microorganisms, called antibodies, that act on the cells of the disease, if it occurs in the body. The vaccine is administered to newborns in order to protect the body that has not yet become stronger from the first days of life, thereby securing the baby’s life. Vaccine antigen may be:
Protein viruses, which are obtained by genetic engineering. In addition to the main component of the vaccine, the composition includes auxiliary substances aimed at strengthening the immune system of the body and able to store the properties of the vaccine for a long time. In the first two years of a child’s life, an immune system is formed. To strengthen and maintain the body, the state program provides for nine types of vaccinations.
The staff informs each parent about the time of vaccination. After the introduction of the vaccine into the human body, the immune system begins to produce antibodies to destroy the introduced antigen. Due to the fact that weakened pathogens are used for immunization, the disease does not develop, but the mechanism of antibody production is triggered. Antibodies are able to persist for a long time in the body, during the next contact with infection pathogens, the antibodies instantly destroy them, preventing the disease from developing. Thus, during an outbreak of any infectious disease, vaccination protects a person from infection.
Opponents of vaccination claim that vaccines disrupt the proper development of the immune mechanisms in a child, so vaccination cannot be done before the immune system is formed. Indeed, the immune system of babies is not fully formed, but there are two important links in it: non-specific and specific immunity. Not completely formed nonspecific, which is designed to fight against opportunistic microorganisms. This immunity is able to identify pathogenic microorganisms by common signs, without having strict specificity to foreign agents. Specific immunity – adaptive, fully formed, able to respond to individual antigens and preserve immunological memory. With the introduction of the vaccine, specific immunity is activated, begins to work, protecting the body from meeting with dangerous infections. Many vaccinations do not affect nonspecific immunity at all, so they are allowed to be done from birth. There are vaccines that affect nonspecific immunity; these are vaccinations against meningococcal and pneumococcal infections. Since this type of immunity begins to function normally from the age of 1.5 years, children are allowed to be vaccinated only after reaching this age.
Opponents of vaccination against “childhood” diseases (mumps, rubella, measles) state that it is better to have them in childhood, since the effect of vaccination does not last long, and adults very difficult to tolerate these infections. However, immunity after vaccination against these diseases is not lifelong, and adults really do not tolerate the disease. But it is necessary to be vaccinated from them, because there are serious consequences if one transfers the “childhood” diseases, even at an early age. Indeed, after vaccination, side effects such as high fever, allergic reactions, and deterioration of health sometimes occur. But these phenomena are a sign of the proper functioning of the immune system, they often pass on their own, sometimes the doctor prescribes symptomatic treatment. The severity of adverse events is incomparable with the severity of the infectious diseases that are being vaccinated.
There are categories of people who should not or should not be vaccinated. These include infants under the age of 2 months and those suffering from certain diseases. There is also a small percentage of the population that is immune to certain vaccines. Since immunization is impossible for such people, it is imperative that everyone in their environment be vaccinated. This will help preserve the so-called collective immunity. This means that if most people get vaccinated against a particular disease, they will develop immunity to it and eventually the spread will stop. There is no concrete answer to this question, and the attitude of modern parents and doctors to the vaccination of a child is very ambiguous. Some people are sure that vaccinations are the key to a healthy society and help to increase immunity, others insist that after vaccination a child may have serious complications and health problems. However, for example, the hepatitis B vaccine contains the preservative mercurothiolate, a mercury compound, in an amount of 1.0 g per 100 ml. If we count the number by volume of the vaccine, we get 0.00001 g of substance. This amount is completely eliminated from the body after three days, besides, mercury in this compound is inactive. In the United States, children are vaccinated with the consent of the parents, without their knowledge, health workers are not entitled to carry out any manipulations with the child’s health. In order not to be mistaken in their choice, mom and dad should clarify the main points: what is a vaccine and why should vaccinations be given. In addition, it is important to understand on what schedule they will be held and what are the contraindications against vaccination. As a rule, many parents motivate their decision not to vaccinate a child with the desire to develop a natural immunity in a baby or a fear of receiving a low-quality vaccine. In addition, young mothers / fathers believe that by inoculating babies, they put the baby’s body on too much weight without good reason.
Each parent has the right to receive from medical institutions complete and reliable information about all the dangers associated with infection, the consequences of refusing vaccination. Parents are responsible for deciding whether or not to vaccinate a child. Vaccination has its drawbacks and can be rejected. Most often, the requirement of mandatory vaccination of children is determined not by state laws, but by the requirement of the school (Black et al., 2009, p. 2125). At the same time, most states do not have a law permitting them to refuse vaccinations. Nevertheless, there is a legal opportunity to do this, referring to religious protest, in accordance with federal law. Article 2164 of the Health Act provides the following two grounds for exemption from compulsory immunization:
Legislation can be more effective if there are several options for parents who do not want to vaccinate their school-age children:
Many seasonal influenza vaccines, like the H1N1 vaccine, contain mercury in the thimerosal preservative in amounts exceeding the safe level recommended by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) (Molinari et al. 2007, p. 5086). It was also found that the death rate from all causes more accurately reflects the impact of influenza epidemics on children than the death rate from pneumonia and influenza because the symptoms of influenza infection in children are very diverse. Although the influenza virus is classified as respiratory, in children, the infection with symptoms of lower respiratory tract infection is only half of all cases of illness caused by the influenza virus and leading to hospitalization. Thus, it can be said that the cessation of mass vaccination of schoolchildren had a smaller effect on the mortality rate among infants, compared to the same effect in young children, although children (as well as the elderly) are considered a high-risk group for influenza.
The physician community should remember that even the relatively small effects of interventions aimed at improving immunization rates are clinically significant, since vaccination is recommended for almost everyone at different periods of life. To get their buy-in to increase immunization efforts with their patient populations, it is necessary to remind that this is a struggle for social change, a transformation of public understanding and attitudes, a change of behavior or the mobilization of human and financial resources. Local facts and statistics about immunization should be collected. People respond better to questions that affect them personally.
Up-to-date immunization registry provide to benefits parents since they may know that the average cost of immunization per person is much cheaper than the cost of treating a disease. Immunization providers understand that such a presentation of information has a much greater impact, based on the immunization registry it is very easy to determine which diseases are the most dangerous (Szilagyi et al., 2000). For the public immunization registry will help focus on organizations and people who can play a key role in achieving success, rather than trying to influence everyone who makes decisions.
Improving registry statistics can be reached by local, state, and federal public health agencies with the help of computerized information services and immunization registries, which offer the opportunity to become the basis of a system of reminders or patient alerts based on the availability of their personal data (Jacobson et al., 2018). However, in such a case, it is necessary for the health care institution, public health authority or public organization to have access to the patient’s personal data, since, depending on the situation, such notifications may be in the form of postcards, letters, telephone calls, computerized calls or text messages.
Side effects are possible in children after vaccination. They are usually mild and include redness or swelling at the injection site. Sometimes children get a little fever. As a rule, these symptoms disappear after 1-2 days. More severe complications are known, but they are extremely rare. The fact is that any vaccine has been tested for safety and efficacy for many years before entering the market. Health authorities conduct relevant research before approving a drug. Also, the survey subject to production capacity and compliance with the manufacturer of all established standards. Even after the vaccine has entered the market, it continues to be closely monitored, instantly identifying any oddities or inconsistencies.
Therefore, we can safely say that vaccination is an extremely safe procedure and the benefits of using it significantly exceed the possible risks of side effects.
Vaccinations are the main method of controlling morbidity, which can radically influence the epidemic process, makes the disease manageable. With the help of vaccines, smallpox was neutralized and the incidence and mortality from diseases such as measles, diphtheria and whooping cough were significantly reduced. For greater stability and effectiveness of immune protection, revaccination is carried out, as a result of which the level of antibodies rapidly rises and remains at the proper level for a certain number of years. Over the past twenty years, the list of contraindications has decreased significantly. According to the results of research and observations, there are no more complications. But the health of children has not changed for the better. There is always a risk group – children with certain comorbidities. These can be heart defects, hereditary diseases, allergies, anemia, encephalopathy, or dysbiosis. At the moment, they are false contraindications. On the one hand, vaccinations are able to prevent serious infectious diseases, on the other hand, each child’s body is individual, therefore complications after vaccination are sometimes encountered. Often parents trust the rumors, and, trying to protect their child, harm him. Indeed, under certain conditions, both vaccination and refusal can have negative consequences.