Saturday, July 11, 2015

Importance of Immunizations in Children

This week in my class we had to pick a topic of health importance in a child's life. So I picked immunizations, not to be controversial (although I know immunizations are a touchy subject) but because they have meant something to me.

We vaccinate our kids, yes we're Christians and we vaccinate our kids. I grew up in a medical home, my mom and sister are both RN's in hospitals (my mom is retired now). Because of seeing their work and the way doctor's have helped my kids, I believe in both God's divine healing & protection and doctor's wisdom.

In 2010 Abbey, then 3 years old, got really sick. She was throwing up and her temperature kept climbing. We gave her rest and tylenol but nothing was working. By 11pm her temperature was creeping towards ugly numbers so after our 3rd call to the on-call doctor they sent us to the emergency room. Abbey went through so many tests-spinal tap, mri's, blood tests, it just kept going because they didn't know what was going on. There were IV drips of medicine, just trying to help her. On the morning of day 4 in the hospital they finally knew what it was: Pneumococcal strep infection in her blood. By the end of the 5th day we were able to take Abbey home. It still took awhile for her to fully recover, but she did.

Abbey had been vaccinated with the pneumococcal vaccine, but not everyone is. Because not everyone is they believe someone had it and passed it along to her, which affected her very badly. But she was lucky. 3 months before there was a little girl 25 min. away who contracted the same infection, they didn't catch it early, and unfortunately it ended in her needing both of her arms and both of her legs amputated.

According to the World Health Organization the pneumococcal vaccine is only in 103 countries, and in those countries only 25% of those people have had this vaccine. Vaccines are a controversial topic in this country, not everyone believes they are necessary or worth it. But there are still countries in our world where they don't get to have strong opinions about vaccines at all. According to the World Health Organization: "In 2013, an estimated 21.8 million infants worldwide were not reached with routine immunization services, of whom nearly half live in 3 countries: India, Nigeria and Pakistan."

There are certain vaccines I don't agree with and yes there are some people whose bodies can't handle vaccines due to allergies or other complications. But in the larger spectrum I think vaccines are beneficial and can protect so many kids from getting sick and can protect parents from having to go through the unknown like we went through with Abbey. 

3 comments:

  1. Hi Danielle,

    First I want to say how pleased I am to hear that your daughter was able to overcome and recover from her illness! I appreciate your post and understanding why immunizations are important to the health of children. I know how controversial this topic can be, but like you would rather have my children not suffer from disease and illness that left thousands to children to die in the past. I will take my chances that science and research are accurate in preventing these illness through immunizations. I enjoyed reading your post!

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  2. Hi Danielle,

    I'm so glad that your daughter was able to recover from that. I also believe that it is so important to get vaccinated there are so many diseases out there so why not protect your child either way. I remember getting immunization as a child and I was blessed that I haven't had anything seriously wrong with me. Thanks for your post!

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  3. Hi Danielle,
    I am glad your experience with your daughter had a happy ending. I too believe that children should be vaccinated. In 2000, measles was considered eliminated in the United States however despite the fact there is a vaccination for measles, it is active again and the disease is horrible and one I would never wish upon my child. As a parent, I feel that the pros far out weight the cons in most vaccinations. I believe that a better choice would be to spread vaccinations out and not group them together with others. Parents often say to me that they are not vaccinating their children simply because they feel there are too many. I would respond: educate yourself on what the vaccinations are and their purpose, then make an educated decision on what you do or do not want them to have. Making a blanket decision is never good. Are there too many? Do they cause Autism or SIDS? I don't know and I know there is information out there to support both sides so I chose to be make educated decisions with the help of my child's doctor. I am glad you do as well.

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