It scares me that even in 2019 we still need to talk about how essential it is to vaccinate children. The benefits of decades of vaccination are visible all around us and yet doubts are being raised on the efficacy of these vaccines. There are plenty of conspiracy theories playing on the insecurities of parents, aiming to seed doubt that there is no need to vaccinate against diseases like diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis. It is a different matter that these diseases are highly contagious and dangerous and the medical fraternity is very concerned about eradicating them.

The child who is not vaccinated puts the immunity of the entire society in danger.


Understand this - these diseases are not mere boogeymen; they are real. 

The world has lost millions of babies to these diseases in the last century alone. This was before vaccines became a part of a global immunization protocol. By now, we have reduced the diseases and the rate at which they strike. But we have not won. We have yet to officially eradicate these diseases. And until we do - as we did with smallpox - there is always a risk of the boogeymen returning.

As doctors, we see two types of parents who have issues with vaccinations. 

  1. There are those who say no to vaccines because of the conspiracy theories and then 
  2. Those who are worried specifically about the safety of the drug. 
For the former set, I can assure you that every theory - from the 'risk of autism' to 'evil international plot to sterilize a population' and all the other outrageous theories have been thoroughly investigated and debunked.

For the latter set, I understand your concerns. And so does the World Health Organization (WHO) which is why they have stringent guidelines when it comes to every series of vaccines they choose. These pre-qualified vaccines are tested to ensure they are safe, effective and meet all the quality control procedures. They are tested for consistency with regular audits of their manufacturing facilities. 

Some of WHO's pre-qualified vaccines like 6 in 1 combination vaccine do not even require reconstitution so that there is no risk of outside contamination. It also reduces the number of injections that need to be administered to the child.

I understand your fears as a parent. But you too need to understand my fears as a doctor. 

We see parents fall for the lies and refuse to vaccinate their child. The child who is not vaccinated puts the immunity of the entire society in danger. 


herd immunity in vaccination
Image courtesy: CDC - How vaccines protect you via herd immunity
Blue: non vaccinated, healthy
Yellow: Vaccinated, healthy
Red: Non-vaccinated, contagious


And while it is the parents who have not behaved responsibly, the sufferer is the child. The child either succumbs to these 'killer' diseases or spreads the germs of the diseases to others.

Make the right choice. Choose to immunize your children. Your choice will help us eradicate these boogeymen viruses and bacteria from the world forever.



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References:
  1. ·   https://www.publichealth.org/public-awareness/understanding-vaccines/vaccine-myths-debunked/
  2. ·       https://www.historyofvaccines.org/timeline/diphtheria 
  3. ·       https://ecdc.europa.eu/en/tetanus/facts


Disclaimer: The views expressed in the blog content are independent and unbiased views of solely the blogger/ third party. This is a part of public awareness initiative supported by Sanofi Pasteur India. Sanofi Pasteur bears no responsibility for the content of the blog. One should consult their healthcare provider for any health-related information.

5 Comments

  1. I still can't believe that there are a bunch of parents out there who are against vaccines. What are they called? Anti-vaxxers something! I find that so stupid.

    Vaccines and immunization is the basic right of a child, and most of them are free. I still don't know why parents think so much about it.

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    Replies
    1. Yes. They are called anti vaxxers. It is just ridiculous. They declare themselves with pride after making their own children into actual killers.

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  2. Vaccination is so important... hope parents pay attention.

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  3. It is depressing to see that we are forced to have this conversation in 2019

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  4. I agree with you and Damyanti - we need to work with our medics ... I have our flu jab ... cheers Hilary

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So what do you think ?