Effects of Rotavirus and Smallpox
Between 1994 and 2014 an estimated 732,000 children were saved from death and 322 million cases of childhood illnesses were prevented due to vaccinations. UNICEF reported globally that 453,000 children die from rotavirus, 476,000 from pneumococcus, 199,000 from HIB, 195,000 from whooping cough, 118,000 from measles, and 60,000 from tetanus. People have tried the argument that there is no reason to vaccinate against diseases that have not occured in years such as diphtheria and polio, but the reason these diseases have not occured in ages is simply because people have vaccinated their children almost completely eradicating these diseases.
Lowering Risk of Contracting a Disease
For example, if someone returned from travelling in another country and they were not vaccinated before visiting, they pose a higher risk of contracting a disease themselves and unknowingly bringing it back and infecting everyone around them. Another positive effect of vaccinations is that they protect unborn children from possible birth defects. Between the years 1963 and 1965, before the rubella vaccine was licensed in 1969, a global outbreak caused deaths of 11,000 infants and birth defects in 20,000. Women vaccinated as children against rubella greatly decreased the risk of passing it on to their unborn or newborn children.
This eliminated birth defects such as heart problems, hearing and vision loss, congenital cataracts, liver and spleen damage and mental disabilities associated with the disease. Another plus to vaccines is they save children and their parents time and money. If your child is vaccinated they are less likely to become sick which results in their parents not having to take time off work in order to care for them. A 2012 study showed children under the age of five with the flu are contagious for eight days and cost their parents an average of 11 to 73 hours of wages and $300 to $4,000 in medical expenses. A few weeks ago, a mother with a cancer stricken child took to twitter because her daughter contracted measles from an unvaccinated child in the hospital.
Unvaccinated Children are Contagious
She explained that her daughter could not get vaccinated due to her weakened immune system from chemotherapy and as a result, she contracted measles and had to be quarantined for a month. Her daughter’s exam room needed a “terminal cleaning” and it interfered with other cancer outpatients’ treatments. The mother also explained that not vaccinating your children puts other immunocompromised children at risk to where they need painful shots to bring up their white blood cell counts. In conclusion, no matter what almost everyone says I think vaccines are more important than ever and should be required not only in schools, but everywhere.