There is a big controversy on immunizations. The questions are endless. Should I immunize myself or my child? Will my child get sick because of immunizations? Are immunizations safe if I’m pregnant? It goes on and on. Some people are strong advocates for immunizations. There are others who are totally against it. When immunizations were first created, it was all the rage because it was preventing many diseases. Nowadays, people are looking at the possible side effects and saying that they are dangerous. Your decision to immunize is completely up to you. The best thing you can do before making the decision is to get all the facts: both good and bad.
What are immunizations?
Immunizations are shots given to help a person build immunity to certain viruses. It is not used for bacteria because we have antibiotics to fight that. You may wonder why when you have the flu or another virus they don’t give you antibiotics. They tell you to let it run its course. Antibiotics don’t work on viruses. The opposite is also true; most immunizations do not work for bacterial infections. This is why you don’t get strep immunizations or ear infection immunizations because those are bacteria related diseases. Immunizations are the defense method for viruses.
What does it do?
Immunizations are made with part of the virus in them. Yes, they are injecting you with something you are supposed to fight off. It may not make sense now but soon it will. Most immunizations have the dead virus in it. There are a few that have the live virus. It is such a small amount that it does not harm you. Your next question may be why do I get sick after an injection then if it is not harmful? Once the virus is injected, the body recognizes it as a foreign substance that should not be there. The immune system prepares an attack on the virus. The revving up of the immune system is what makes you feel sick. The immune system attacks the disease as if you have it. This is why you may have a fever after an immunization or experience symptoms. After a while, you feel like your normal self. It usually only takes about a day. You are probably wondering what the point to all this is. Well, now that your immune system has set up a defense against this virus, if it sees it again it can act much quicker and kill it sometimes even before you start having symptoms.
Immunizations have become so effective that many schools require them before you can even start. Not having immunizations can keep you out of school. The thought is an unimmunized child is more susceptible to serious infectious diseases which may spread to the children around them. It is true that unimmunized children are at a higher risk but what some people fail to realize is being in a community where the majority of those around you are immunized gives them protection. This concept is known as herd immunity.
There is a chart that you may have seen demonstrating how immunity works within a community. When the majority of a community is not immunized, and an infected person comes along, the whole community is susceptible to infection, even if the majority of the people are healthy. When part of the community is immunized, and an infected person comes in, it still puts others at risk. If the majority of a community is immunized and an infected person comes in those who do not still have an immunization have immunity. It is interesting how this works, but it goes to show how the community and individuals affect one another.
It seems like a great idea to get immunized, but so many people are against it because they believe your immune system should not be tarnished with immunizations. The thought is your immune system is strong enough to fight off whatever comes its way. Immunizations are not without its imperfections. Sometimes people have reactions to the immunization which scares them from getting any more. Parents are very careful when it comes to immunizing their children. Although the doctor puts them on a specific schedule, parents do not always like for their child to get too many immunizations at once. There have been many theories that vaccines may even cause disorders like autism or epilepsy. Just the thought of vaccines being potentially harmful keeps parents from even allowing their children to be immunized.
Immunizations have its pros and cons but for most people, it is not something they even have to think on. Being protected from a potentially deadly disease is enough to make anyone consider immunizations. There have been a lot of theories on the harmful effects of immunizations, but there has not been proof of these theories. After immunizations, the side effects include fever, soreness, swelling, and fatigue. It takes time for your body to build up an immune response to that virus. If you are unsure about immunizations, do not go off of theories. Get all the facts on it so that you can make the best, informed decision on immunizations.
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