The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a report in 2014 that estimated vaccinations would prevent more than 21 million hospitalizations and 732,000 deaths among children born during the 20 years prior. But, as is often the case, we don’t know a good thing when we see it.
An anti-vaccine movement is sweeping the nation and we appear determined to go back to the days in which children die or become crippled from easily preventable diseases — such as polio, measles, diphtheria, pertussis (whooping cough), rubella (German measles), mumps, tetanus, rotavirus and Haemophilus influenzae type B.
More and more parents are deciding against vaccinating their children because they believe vaccinations put their children at risk, mostly an increased risk of developing autism, despite all the evidence to the contrary and study after study debunking such myths.
While the risk of autism from vaccines is nonexistent, the risk of children dying from any number of diseases they can be vaccinated against is very real.
Unvaccinated children also put at risk children who are too young to be immunized, those who can’t receive certain vaccines for medical reasons and people who don’t respond to particular vaccines.
Our advances in medicine and health care mean we will likely never see the return of the high mortality rates of the 18th century, when almost one in three children died of infectious diseases, but even one child needlessly dying from a disease that can be vaccinated against is too many.