Ask The Expert
September 28, 2010
It is wonderful that you are learning all about infectious diseases and the vaccines that prevent them.
In my mind, there is no question that vaccines work! Being sure our children get all of their vaccines makes the most sense to me.
Many parents understand the value in immunizing their children. In fact, more than 80% of children have received all the recommended vaccinations. But, almost 1 in 5 children has not. This means every year children get severe illnesses and possibly even die from diseases that could have been prevented by a vaccine.
Parents may not immunize their child because they think that the diseases being prevented are not common enough for their son or daughter to catch. This is not true. Infectious diseases are widespread around the world. Plus, they are still diagnosed in the communities where we live.
Other parents may not immunize their children because they are concerned about the safety of vaccines. Try not to worry. All vaccines are carefully studied in large numbers of children for many years before they are licensed for routine use.
Once a vaccine is licensed, it is continuously monitored for safety and how well it works. These safeguards should help you (and all parents) have confidence in how safe vaccines really are.
Regarding your specific concerns about vaccines, allergic reactions to immunizations are very rare. And many studies have been done looking at whether vaccines cause autism or ADHD. The answer is clearly NO.
By properly immunizing all children, there hopefully will be fewer and fewer cases of these deadly diseases each year.