Do we really need vaccinations?
Diseases are becoming rare due to vaccinations.
It is true that some diseases (like polio and diphtheria) are becoming very rare in the U.S. Of course, they are becoming rare largely because we have been vaccinating against them. But it is still reasonable to ask whether it’s really worthwhile to keep vaccinating. It’s much like bailing out a boat with a slow leak. When we started bailing, the boat was filled with water. But we have been bailing fast and hard, and now it is almost dry. We could say, “Good. The boat is dry now, so we can throw away the bucket and relax.” But the leak hasn’t stopped. Before long we’d notice a little water seeping in, and soon it might be back up to the same level as when we started.
Keep immunizing until disease is eliminated.
Unless we can “stop the leak” (eliminate the disease), it is important to keep immunizing. Even if there are only a few cases of disease today, if we take away the protection given by vaccination, more and more people will be infected and will spread disease to others. Soon we will undo the progress we have made over the years.
We vaccinate to protect our future.
We don’t vaccinate just to protect our children. We also vaccinate to protect our grandchildren and their grandchildren. With one disease, smallpox, we “stopped the leak” in the boat by eradicating the disease. Our children don’t have to get smallpox shots anymore because the disease no longer exists. If we keep vaccinating now, parents in the future may be able to trust that diseases like polio and meningitis won’t infect, cripple, or kill children. Vaccinations are one of the best ways to put an end to the serious effects of certain diseases.
The Indiana State Department of Health Immunization Division annually reviews and updates the immunizations required for school entry. Changes to the 2013-2014 School Immunization Requirements are as follows:
- Two doses of varicella (chickenpox) vaccine, or evidence of immunity, will be required for all students in grades K through 12.
- One dose of a meningococcal conjugate vaccine is required and one (1) booster dose is recommended for all students in grades 11 & 12.
- Two doses of Hepatitis A vaccine are recommended for all students entering Kindergarten.
Reference: This was excerpted from the CDC Website (www.cdc.gov/vaccines).