Disclosure: This post has been sponsored by Trinity Law. This means that I received compensation for this blog post; however, all opinions are my own. This post may also contain affiliate links. For more information, please read my full disclosure here.
Flu season is rapidly approaching. Since the flu vaccine is currently available in many places, now is a good time to revisit talk about vaccines. As well as vaccines, you can also take other preventative measures, like keeping your hands clean by washing them or using the Hand Sanitizer Canada has to offer to kill germs. Killing the germs will certainly help avoid catching the flu but being able to prevent it is even better. Regardless of your choice to vaccinate or not vaccinate, please make sure you are properly educated on the facts, as many lives are affected by your choices. For instance:
Did you know that…
- More than 1/10 parents vaccinate their children on a schedule that is not CDC-recommended
- From 2004-2008, 68% of U.S. residents diagnosed with measles had not been vaccinated because of a personal or parental objection (not due to health issues preventing vaccination)
- 1 child dies every 20 seconds from a vaccine-preventable disease
- If all children were immunized with existing vaccines, by 2020 we would save nearly 25 million lives
- The flu vaccine does not cause the flu
How do vaccines work?
Vaccines work by introducing a killed or weakened form of a virus (that usually causes infection) into a person’s immune system. Because the virus has been killed or weakened before it’s used to make the vaccine, it can’t make the person sick. A healthy body recognizes the foreign antigen (the virus) as unusual and responds by creating antibodies. Antibodies help to kill off viruses and bacteria that enter the body, creating a defense, or immunity, against that virus. To put it simply, vaccines expose individuals safely to viruses and bacteria so that they can become protected from a disease while not becoming sick from it.
So why doesn’t everyone vaccinate?
Sometimes people aren’t healthy enough to handle vaccination (or certain vaccines). Others are unable to vaccinate due to religious reasons. Some are unfortunately not able to access doctors due to children not being insured and due to financial reasons, can’t find help. If this resonates with you, it’s important to take a look at lifesaversfoundation.org, who is a mobile pediatric clinic to keep the healthcare of the community on track.
On the other hand, some individuals choose not to be vaccinated or not to vaccinate their children based on misinformation.
In 1998, a British surgeon named Andrew Wakefield published a study with results that stated that the MMR vaccine causes childhood autism. Thanks to this study, millions of parents around the world fear vaccinations do more harm than good due to this mistaken belief, which has been used as justification for not vaccinating.
This study has proven to be untrue.
Studies have shown that there is no link between receiving vaccines and developing autism spectrum disorders (ASD). The ingredient most studied is thimerosal, a mercury-based preservative used to prevent contamination of multidose vials of vaccines. Studies on that particular substance show that thimerosal specifically does not cause ASD. In fact, since 2003, 9 CDC-funded or conducted studies have shown no link between MMR and ASD.
Regardless, the only thimerosal-containing childhood vaccines left are flu vaccines that are packaged in multi-dose vials, but thimerosal-free alternatives are widely available.
Regardless of whether or not you choose to vaccinate, it’s important for you to know your legal rights, as some states require children attending school, day care, or pre-kindergarten programs to be immunized with specific vaccines.
Trinity Law has provided us with a simple explanation of the requirements in the state of Pennsylvania, including any ramifications that may be in effect if your child is not immunized. Please continue to remain educated about the truth of vaccines and how you can be affected if you choose not to vaccinate.
Couch, R. (2014, April 22). Not Vaccinating Children Is Deadly. This Infographic Proves It. Retrieved from The Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/04/22/vaccines-for-children-unicef-infographic_n_5192839.html
How Do Vaccines Work? (n.d.). Retrieved October 19, 2015, from New York State Department of Health: http://www.health.ny.gov/prevention/immunization/how_vaccines_work.htm
Infographic: Thinking BIG on Immunization. (2013, September 15). Retrieved from Unicef: http://www.unicefusa.org/stories/champions-children-main-page/impact-your-support/emergency-support/infographic-thinking-big
Johnson, H. (2012, May 31). Fear and Loathing in Modern Medicine: Vaccination Infographic. Retrieved from The Parenting Patch: http://parentingpatch.com/fear-and-loathing-in-modern-medicine-vaccination-infographic/
Mandatory Vaccination Requirements in Pennsylvania. (n.d.). Retrieved October 19, 2015, from Trinity Law: http://www.yourlawfirmforlife.com/2015/08/12/mandatory-vaccination-requirements-in-pennsylvania/
Vaccines Do Not Cause Autism. (2015, August 28). Retrieved from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: http://www.cdc.gov/vaccinesafety/concerns/autism.html