Parents naturally want to do what is best for their children. Many parents know about the importance of using car seats, baby gates and other ways to keep them safe but what many don’t know is that one of the best ways to protect children is to make sure they have all of their vaccinations (A.k.a Immunization) taken. Here are five quick reasons why you should vaccinate your children:

Vaccinations save the lives of many children.

Thanks to more ground breaking scientific research and innovations, children can be protected against more diseases than ever before. Some diseases that once injured or killed thousands of children have been eliminated completely and others are close to extinction– primarily due to safe and effective vaccines. Polio is one example of the great impact that vaccines had in many countries. Polio once caused death and paralysis in many countries, but today, thanks to vaccination, many countries have completely eradicated polio with some more following the trails.

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Vaccination is very safe and effective.

Vaccines are only given to children after a long and careful review by scientists, doctors, and healthcare professionals. Vaccines will involve some discomfort and may cause pain, redness, or tenderness at the site of injection but this is minimal compared to the pain, discomfort, and trauma of the diseases these vaccines prevent. Serious side effects following vaccination, such as severe allergic reaction, are very rare. The disease-prevention benefits of getting vaccines are much greater than the possible side effects for almost all children.

Vaccination protects others you care about.

Many Children in the U.S. for instance, still get vaccine-preventable diseases. In fact, there have been resurgences of measles and whooping cough (pertussis) over the past few years. Since 2010, there have been between 10,000 and 50,000 cases of whooping cough each year in the United States and about 10 to 20 babies, many of which were too young to be fully vaccinated, died each year. While some babies are too young to be protected by vaccination, others may not be able to receive certain vaccinations due to severe allergies, weakened immune systems from conditions like leukaemia, or other reasons. To help keep them safe, it is important that you and your children who are able to get vaccinated are fully immunized.  This not only protects your family but also helps prevent the spread of these diseases to your friends and loved ones.

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Vaccinations can save your family time and money. A child with a vaccine-preventable disease can be denied attendance at schools or child care facilities. Some vaccine-preventable diseases can result in prolonged disabilities and can take a financial toll because of lost time at work, medical bills or long-term disability care. In contrast, getting vaccinated against these diseases is a good investment and usually covered by insurance. The Vaccines for Children program is a federally funded program that provides vaccines at no cost to children from low-income families.

Vaccination protects future generations. Vaccines have reduced and, in some cases, eliminated many diseases that killed or severely disabled people just a few generations ago. For example, smallpox vaccination eradicated that disease worldwide. Your children don’t have to get smallpox shots any more because the disease no longer exists. By vaccinating children against rubella (German measles), the risk that pregnant women will pass this virus on to their fetus or newborn has been dramatically decreased, and birth defects associated with that virus no longer are seen in many countries. If we continue vaccinating now and vaccinating completely, parents in the future may be able to trust that some diseases of today will no longer be around to harm their children.

So, get your child vaccinated or immunized today and save the future generation.

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