GCPH: Vaccination is safe, effective


XENIA — Greene County Public Health is reminding all parents, grandparents, and caregivers the importance of vaccinations following National Infant Immunization Week (NIIW).

“Maintaining high immunization rates by vaccinating on time every time is key in keeping dangerous diseases away from our communities,” GCPH officials said in a press release.

Greene County Public Health has released the following points:

Immunizations can save your child’s life. Because of advances in medical science, your child can be protected against more diseases than ever before. Some diseases that once injured or killed thousands of children are no longer common in the U.S. — primarily due to safe and effective vaccines. Polio is one example of the great impact that vaccines have had in the United States. Polio was once America’s most feared disease, causing death and paralysis across the country, but thanks to vaccination the United States has been polio-free since 1979.

Vaccination is very safe and effective. Vaccines are only given to children after careful review by scientists, doctors, and healthcare professionals. Vaccine side effects are almost always mild such as redness or swelling at the site of the shot, but this is minimal compared to the pain, discomfort, and risk of injury and death from the diseases these vaccines prevent. Serious side effects following vaccination, such as severe allergic reaction, are very rare.

Immunization protects others you care about. Children in the U.S. still get vaccine-preventable diseases. In fact, the country has seen resurgences of measles and whooping cough (pertussis) over the past few years. 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 leukemia, or other reasons.

Immunizations can save your family time and money. A child with a vaccine-preventable disease can be denied attendance at schools or daycare 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.

Immunization 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 anymore because the disease no longer exists anywhere in the world. By vaccinating children against rubella (German measles), the risk that pregnant women will pass this virus on to their fetus or newborn is lower, and birth defects associated with that virus are seen in only rare cases in the United States when a pregnant woman who was never vaccinated against rubella is exposed to someone who contracted rubella in another country.

For more information about the importance of infant immunization visit www.cdc.gov/vaccines. To find a vaccine provider visit www.vaccinefinder.org.