Children need many vaccines over the years. While it’s never fun to watch your child receive a shot that they don’t want, opting out of the vaccines could put your child at serious risk. Vaccines are essential for a variety of reasons, but let’s take a closer look at some of the most notable ones.

Preventing the Spread of Disease

Vaccines are the only way to prevent the spread of many potentially deadly diseases. Choosing not to vaccinate your child means choosing to put them at risk of a potentially deadly, but preventable, disease. If your child is not vaccinated, it puts them at risk, as well as their peers. You should stick to the recommended vaccination schedule to protect your child and those younger than them that can’t yet receive the same vaccination yet.

Some vaccinations, such as the flu vaccine, need to be administered every year to ensure continued protection. Elderly people, pregnant women, and infants are at the highest risk of contracting the diseases that can be spread by children who haven’t been vaccinated.

Saving Lives

It’s estimated that with proper pediatric vaccinations approximately 42,000 deaths could be prevented each year in the US. Many parents worry that vaccines carry their own set of risks, but those claims are false. Vaccines are not linked to autism, illness, or any other side effects in children. The lack of vaccines is however linked to a higher pediatric mortality rate. Many of the deadly diseases that vaccines protect against don’t have a known or straightforward cure, so prevention indeed is the best medicine!

Why Not?

Vaccines have been developed and improved for decades to reach the level of safety and effectiveness that we know today. Ultimately, there is no reason not to vaccinate your child! The vaccines they receive as a child not only protect their pediatric health but their lifelong health as well. New vaccines have become available to protect against HIV and other diseases that previously had no treatment or preventative options available.

Children in some other countries often don’t have access to the necessary vaccinations to protect them against harmful diseases, but we’re fortunate enough to live in a country with easy access. We participate in the CT state vaccination program which provides many vaccines at no cost to children, but even if you don’t have insurance your child can receive the vaccines they need.

Speak with your local health department or school district to learn more about county or state vaccination clinics that are available to those without insurance.