As a parent, you consider the health and safety of your children in the decisions you make daily. Whether you want them to eat healthy or wear a seatbelt, you make choices you know will protect them in the long run. As the world adjusts to the COVID-19 pandemic, some tasks don’t get prioritized. This can include keeping your children up to date on the vaccines they need. We encourage you to talk to your children’s health care provider about the importance of vaccines and how they help keep our loved ones and communities safe.
While there is a wealth of information about the safety and effectiveness of vaccines, we understand you may be nervous about the effectiveness of vaccines and the effects they may have on your children. You can use the internet to do your own research on childhood vaccines, but please be aware that all the information you encounter may not be true. While some of what you read online certainly can be convincing and cause you to question whether you are making the right choice for your children, it’s important to bring up these concerns with your children’s health care provider who can help determine fact from hearsay.
To simplify the decision-making process for parents and families alike, we’ve compiled five reasons you should make sure your children are up to date on their vaccination schedules:
Vaccines can save your children’s lives
Some of the deadliest diseases targeting children have been eliminated through vaccines. For example, polio paralyzed and killed thousands of children yearly until a vaccine was created in the early 1950s. As a result of this adding this vaccine to the childhood vaccination schedule, no new cases of polio have been reported for more than 42 years.
Vaccinations are safe and effective
Vaccines are not created overnight and only are administered to the public after a long and careful review process by scientists and doctors. Vaccines are constantly tested and monitored even after initial approval. They may cause slight discomfort, pain or redness at the site of injection, but these side effects are small compared to the diseases they were specifically designed to prevent.
Immunization protects others you care about
Children too young to be vaccinated are most vulnerable when it comes to contracting vaccine-preventable diseases. In the last 10 years, we’ve seen resurgence of several diseases that affect children, like measles and whooping cough. In the U.S.,
about 10–20 babies die each year from whooping cough because they are too young to receive the vaccine and contract the disease from someone who was not vaccinated against it.
Immunizations can save your family time and money
Children without up-to-date immunization records can be denied admission to schools or child care. Your children are exposed to millions of germs through their day-to-day interactions and the only way to fight these germs is to ensure your children are up to date on their vaccinations. Over time, vaccine-preventable diseases become expensive to treat compared to the short time spent at the doctor’s office getting your children their shots. Immunization vaccines typically are covered by insurance, making them inexpensive or free methods to protect your kids from deadly diseases.
Immunization protects future generations
Vaccines have eliminated several deadly diseases in recent years. For example,
smallpox was eradicated worldwide by a vaccine. As a result, children no longer receive the vaccination for smallpox. Continuing to follow the immunization schedule set for your children can help the community further eliminate harmful or deadly diseases for future generations.
Childhood immunization is important for the overall health and safety of our families and communities. Keeping up with your child’s vaccination schedule leads to a healthier Kentucky today and tomorrow. Contact your child’s health care provider to schedule an appointment to get their immunizations back on track. Let’s fight disease together.
The Kentucky Primary Care Association was founded in 1976 as a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) corporation of community health centers, rural health clinics, primary care centers and all other organizations and individuals concerned about access to health care services for the state’s underserved rural and urban populations. Learn more about the Kentucky Primary Care Association