Vaccinations for children have been a hot topic in recent years. This is due in part to the ongoing debate of determining if there is too much mercury in certain vaccinations and if certain vaccinations are leading to issues such as an increase in autism and autistic tendencies in children. There is also a question as to whether or not vaccinations are even necessary or if vaccination should be required by the federal or state government. This guide will discuss the various vaccinations for children, delayed vaccinations, if vaccinations are necessary and the debate surrounding that, voluntary versus state required vaccinations, vaccination schedules and the advantages or disadvantages of controversial vaccinations.
Please remember that vaccination should be discussed in full with your doctor, midwife or with a local states health department. This guide is in no way a medical guide or a guide to determine if vaccinations are necessary for your child. If you are concerned about vaccinations for your child after reading this guide please contact one of the local state clinics or your doctor for more information.
Delayed vaccinations and delayed vaccination programs have been implemented by hospitals, physicians and pediatricians for years. Delayed vaccinations are used for several reasons. Though delayed vaccination programs have seen an increase in recent years due to concern over various vaccination forms and what is in various vaccinations, the concept of delayed vaccinations is actually a logical one. The following are some reasons that a parent or a pediatrician may want to enforce the delayed vaccination program for a child. Please remember, that delayed vaccinations are not anti-vaccination programs. In fact, all of the vaccinations that are normally given to children are still given on the delayed vaccination program just a later time.
One of the main reasons that a pediatrician may choose to advise a parent or a family in delayed vaccination programs is due to an adverse previous reaction. There are some vaccinations a child may have an allergic reaction to due to their age or due to sensitivity to a component of the vaccination itself. Many of the children will generally grow out of this type of reaction and for that reason a delayed vaccination program is implemented. This will work with the child's own immune system and help them to accept the vaccination at a later date which will also allow the vaccinations work properly since the adverse reaction may no longer be in the system.
An egg allergy in children may also lead to a delayed vaccination program. Many vaccines such as the flu vaccine, measles vaccine and other vaccines contain chicken egg basis. If a child has a severe egg allergy then these vaccinations may be detrimental or may not work well or as well with the children taking the vaccine. In a delayed vaccination program that has been implemented due to egg allergies a pediatrician will still give the vaccine to the child but in smaller doses rather than the one time goes at certain ages. There have been recent studies to show that children with egg allergies do not have an allergy to the flu shot or to the measles virus vaccine due to the low content of egg protein in the vaccines themselves. For this reason, many pediatricians have decided to implement a slower vaccination program or a delayed vaccination program to ensure that any allergy will be lowered over time.
Upper respiratory conditions in children may also lead to a delayed vaccination program being implemented by a pediatrician. The reason for this is due to adverse side effects with vaccinations such as the flu shot. In fact, the flu shot is one of the most common forms of vaccination that is moved to a delayed vaccination program. If your child has upper respiratory ailment difficulties, discuss the different vaccines available with your doctor and the possible side effects of an upper respiratory infection with flu shots and other vaccinations.
Parental request is another reason that a delayed vaccination program may be implemented for a child. Though this is not the most favorable reason for a pediatrician to determine if a delay vaccination program is viable, it is up to the parents in most states to delay vaccinations or to deny vaccinations for their children.
The Necessary Debate
There has been a debate in recent years over the necessary vaccinations and if vaccinations are even a necessity anymore. This is a huge debate that has led to many conflicts of interest in parents and pediatricians. There have been myths surrounding the necessities of having vaccinations, delaying vaccinations or if vaccinations are necessary at all. The following are a few of the myths regarding vaccinations and how they pertain to the necessity of vaccinations as a whole and on a global scale.
Vaccinations Cause Autism
There have been some studies that have linked the possibility of the MMR vaccine at the age of three years old to possible autism and autism like tendencies. However, this has not been scientifically proven and still remains a myth. It is a possibility but that possibility is very slim at this time. However, many parents have jumped on the bandwagon to not only discontinue this particular vaccine from their children's vaccination program but to avoid vaccines altogether in fear that the vaccination may cause autism or may have a chemical side effect that would cause other mental or physical disabilities in their child. This is a myth that is causing several parents to not vaccine and may cause health issues on a community or global scale.
The Illness Is Gone
One of the most common myths and statements that has been made is the necessity debate of vaccinations is that the illness the vaccination is being given for is already gone. For example, polio is one of the most common used examples in the illness is gone debate. However, many of the individuals who buy into this myth believe that polio is no longer in the United States. However, it has been shown that there have been isolated cases of polio and polio can still come into the country from other countries, flights and immigration. This means that if your child does not have the vaccination for polio they are still at risk of being exposed to the polio virus through children from other countries where the polio vaccine is not available or is not regulated. Just because the illness is gone in your community area does not mean that the illness has been removed.
Immune System Overload
Another myth surrounding vaccinations in children is an immune system overload myth. This myth is centered on the concept that getting certain vaccinations, so many vaccinations or vaccinations at all will overwhelm a child's immune system and the children will be, sick or challenged. According to the American Academy of pediatrics a child can receive up to 23 shots by the time they are two years old. Some of these shots are offered in one doctor’s visit. For example, there is one Doctor’s visit that a child may get to six shots during that visit. This is a concern to many parents and not surprisingly so. However, the concern over an immune system overload is part of a myth rather than part of reality. These vaccinations and vaccination combinations such as the five and one vaccine Pediarix protect against the difference issues such as whooping cough. These are effective when given in combination and do not overload an immune system but work to strengthen the immune system that is already in place.
Voluntary versus State Required
There has been some debate over the regulation and mandatory regulations of vaccinations. Due to the fact that many parents are now jumping on the delayed vaccination program or have considered not vaccinating their children at all, this has led to communities as a whole being concerned on large-scale. The following are the reasons that some communities are considering a state required, county required or city required vaccination program for all citizens. This is also becoming a consideration on a federal scale due to the possible outbreaks of different diseases such as the 2012 flu epidemic outbreak and the meningitis outbreak in the same year.
Exposure of Illness
One of the reasons that many communities are looking towards a requirement or vaccinations is due to the 2012 flu epidemic outbreak and meningitis outbreaks. The flu epidemic outbreak especially was said to be caused by two factors. The first factor was reported by the CDC as not enough people obtaining the flu shot vaccination. The second factor which was also reported by the CDC and other health organizations was the fact that the lack of vaccinations and the lack of individuals taking antibiotics to their full extent led to different virus strains of the flu which caused death in infants and children across the country.
The exposure to these new strains of flu and new illnesses has led many communities to be concerned over the children and the communities as well as the senior citizens of communities if vaccinations are not given. For example, if a child has a vaccination for polio and polio is introduced into the area that child may be immune due to the vaccination. However, if there are several children in a community that have not been vaccinated for the polio virus is introduced into the area, then the children will not only be susceptible to the virus that they will be able to spread the virus to anyone who has not had the vaccination. The spread could lead to an epidemic due to the exposure of the illness.
School Age Children
There is a growing concern with parents of school-age children that there will be exposure to certain strains of the viruses may reemerge with new strains due to lack of vaccinations and regulation of those vaccinations. For this reason, there are several public school systems and private school systems have made a guideline or mandatory that certain vaccinations and must be obtained before child can be enrolled in school.
These vaccinations are the basic vaccinations that are given to children by the age of five. They may include measles, mumps, rubella, polio, whooping cough and hepatitis vaccinations. These are the basic vaccinations to protect children from various forms of illnesses that could kill them should they become exposed to them. In fact, many of these vaccinations prevent the spread of new strains among children.
Scope of Illness
The scope of an illness can be one of the major causes pediatrics associations have requested to make vaccinations mandatory. For example, measles in children can be deadly. In fact, certain strains of measles can lead to several ongoing issues and eventual death of the child has a drug resistance or tolerance to the medication being provided to combat the measles. The scope of some of the illnesses, which had been made evident during the 2012 flu strain epidemic, has changed a lot of parents mind as well as a lot of communities minds.
Though it is still up for debate is making vaccinations mandatory is unconstitutional, it is still being brought up within communities and is still being considered seriously by several associations, community efforts and public and private school systems.
The normal vaccination schedule contains several controversial vaccinations that many parents would like to see removed from the vaccination schedule altogether. Though some parents have opted to have a delayed vaccination schedule due to these controversial vaccinations others have decided to avoid vaccinations altogether or to avoid an entire set of vaccinations and leave the child unvaccinated to any illness or disease. The following are a few the controversial vaccinations that are currently being debated among parents, pediatricians and government officials.
The MMR vaccination is the most controversial vaccinations due to several factors. The first factor that makes the MMR vaccination so controversial is the connection that MMR may be linked to autistic tendencies or to autism in children. In 1998 the first report regarding the MMR vaccination and autism was released in the UK. This report showed 12 children with autism spectrum disorders had the autism diagnosed or autistic tendencies shown directly following the MMR vaccination. The CDC, National Academy of Sciences and national health service of the UK concluded there was no evidence to link the MMR vaccination to autism. However, the MMR vaccination still remains one of the most controversial vaccinations given to children.
The biggest portion of the controversy was found when parents started to remove their children from the MMR vaccination or remove the vaccination from the vaccination program that their children were on. This led to several issues on society. Some of these issues included 2002 and 2003 outbreak of measles in Italy which led to the hospitalization of over 5000 people. In 2004 an outbreak of measles was seen in Iowa. This outbreak was due to immigrants and travelers from India who had not been vaccinated against measles coming into the country and spreading the illness. In 2006 Chicago saw outbreak of mumps caused by poorly immunized children and employees. In 2007 an outbreak occurred in Nova Scotia and in 2008 a measles outbreak occurred in San Diego California. These outbreaks were directly connected to individuals removing themselves from the normal MMR vaccination schedule or denying the MMR vaccination to their children which in turn exposed the individuals to MMR related issues and to death in some cases.
The HPV vaccine has seen controversy fairly recently. This controversy began within the last 10 years. The vaccine itself is geared to young women to vaccinate them against the human papillomavirus . This particular controversial vaccine has a different form of controversy associated with it. In fact, it would seem that the controversy itself surrounds the age of the girls who are receiving the HPV vaccine and that it directly relates to sexual relations issue. The approved vaccines will protect against sexually transmitted viruses including the human papillomavirus. Though parents are shocked that physicians and pediatricians want children ages 11 and older to obtain the vaccine the reasoning behind it is simple. Many pediatricians feel that if the vaccine is administered at an age where sexual promiscuity is not occurring then it will take hold in the body and will prevent any type of human papillomavirus when sexual promiscuity occurs. The real controversy with HPV vaccine lies in the moral and ethical controversy rather than the vaccination itself or side effects from the vaccination.
Mercury in Vaccines
One of the most hard-hit areas for vaccinations and controversy regarding vaccinations is that the mercury content in certain vaccinations. There is an ongoing debate that too much mercury is contained in MMR vaccinations, HPV vaccinations and in other vaccinations that children will receive within their first six years of life. Though this debate has been tested with and various scientific communities no connection to a high mercury count has been found in vaccinations over the last decade. In fact, there have been scientific research studies that have shown that the Mercury has actually decreased over the years due to the scientific community and pediatric community being concerned over the high risk of higher levels of mercury and standard vaccinations offered from the 1950s through the early 1980s.
Disadvantages of Vaccination Free Children
Before this guide closes, we would like to discuss the disadvantages of creating a vaccinations free environment for children. The following are some of the reasons that not vaccinating children has become a higher debate then delayed vaccinations or vaccinations of the whole.
One of the biggest concerns and disadvantages of vaccination free children is the fact that these children who have not been vaccinated could help spread an epidemic such as new flu strands and strands of illnesses that are now immune to different pharmaceutical treatments. This has been proven time and again in the past few years with outbreaks of different flu strands, flu strands that are difficult to fight and with the increased need to change standard antibiotic formulas. In fact, the past decade there have been several changes to some antibiotics and penicillin formulas to combat these new strains of viruses. When children are not vaccinated they are exposed to the strains that have no possible pharmaceutical treatment option.
Health in Schools
One of the largest disadvantages of vaccination free children is the health and school debate. The basic debate of health in schools is that children who were not vaccinated pose a threat to those who are or to adults within the school system. This is why many public schools and private school systems across the country have made it mandatory that basic vaccinations be given before a child can enter into the school system.
The other disadvantage of vaccination free children within the school system is the exposure of children to the illness and children taking it home to senior citizens within the home or to parents of the home that are susceptible to that particular virus. This causes an increase to chain reaction concern for the spread of an epidemic or for the spread of illnesses that are harder to kill with current antibiotic formulas. Many families will have an elderly member of the family living with them or they may take care of an elderly member of the family round-the-clock. For an individual who is elderly and who has various upper respiratory ailments or other issues the exposure to these illnesses due to vaccination free children can be detrimental and can lead to death.
A concern for lack of education and education programs is also a disadvantage for having vaccination free children. For example, in areas where public and private schools make it mandatory for children have certain vaccinations before entering into the school system, this may mean that children are now moved to homeschool or maybe move to educational environments that are not beneficial to their needs. This is one of the reasons that many governments trying to make it mandatory that parents get at least a certain set of vaccinations to their children in order to allow children to enter public and private school systems and obtain the education they need rather than being turned away due to the possible health risks associated with vaccination free children.
Helpful Links and Resources
The following are a few helpful links and resources if you are concerned about vaccinations, have questions about the late vaccination programs or maybe concerned about the controversies related to the serious vaccinations.
Vaccination Schedules http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/schedules/
Vaccination Safety http://www.flu.gov/prevention-vaccination/vaccination/index.html
Vaccine Facts http://www.vaccines.com/