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Monday, 14 March 2016 20:30

Weighing the Benefits and Risks of Vaccines

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Public health officials strongly encourage immunizing children on a schedule, starting at birth with a hepatitis B vaccine. A child who is not immunized is at risk for serious many diseases, and may also be putting the community at risk. 

A vaccination contains killed or weakened disease germs that are delivered into the body, usually by injection. The immune system reacts to the disease, just as if it were exposed to a disease, providing effective immunity. Immunizations are given to prevent the following diseases:

  • Chickenpox
  • Diphtheria
  • Flu (Influenza)
  • Hepatitis A
  • Hepatitis B
  • Hib
  • HPV (Human Papillomavirus) - related Cancers
  • Measles
  • Meningococcal Disease
  • Mumps
  • Polio
  • Pneumococcal
  • Rotavirus
  • Rubella
  • Tetanus
  • Whooping Cough (Pertussis)

What are the Risks of Vaccines?

As with any medication, even aspirin, side effects can happen with vaccines. When a child does have a reaction to a vaccine, the side-effects are likely to be minor and include a sore leg, a slight rash, or a mild fever that goes away in a day or two. Some children have more serious reactions like a high fever and chills. Thankfully, serious reactions are extremely rare. One of the most serious – a life-threatening allergic reaction to a substance in a vaccine – occurs only about once in every million vaccine doses.

The long-standing vaccine safety system in the U.S. ensures that vaccines are as safe as possible. Because of this system the United States now has the safest, most effective vaccine supply in its history.

Safety monitoring begins with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), who ensures the safety, effectiveness, and availability of vaccines for the United States. Before a vaccine is approved by the FDA for use by the public, results of studies on safety and effectiveness of the vaccine are evaluated by highly trained FDA scientists and doctors. FDA also inspects the sites where vaccines are made to make sure they follow strict manufacturing guidelines.

Have questions or concerns about vaccinations? Talk with your physician, they can help ensure your child's vaccinations are up-to-date and address any concerns you may have.

Read 2261 times Last modified on Monday, 14 March 2016 21:01
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