Vaccination Benefits Far Outweigh Risks

The Editors at RealAge
Parenting
July 19, 2012


Before vaccines, measles, mumps, and chickenpox claimed thousands of lives.
Before vaccines, measles, mumps, and chickenpox claimed thousands of lives.

By Michael F. Roizen, MD

Mae West once said, "Every man I meet wants to protect me. I can't figure out what from." Well, I know what we want to protect kids from: diphtheria, flu, measles, meningitis, mumps, pertussis (whooping cough), pneumonia, polio, rubella (German measles), tetanus, and chickenpox. These are vaccine-preventable diseases, and until the vaccines were developed, these diseases claimed thousands of lives annually.

Here's a vaccine most adults should have.

Unfortunately, there's widespread anxiety about vaccinations. I know you're trying to do right for your child, but rumors spread across the Internet that vaccines cause diseases, that natural immunity is better and safer than vaccination, and that newborns aren't ready for vaccines.

I want to be very clear: I interviewed more than 150 experts on every side of the issue for YOU: Having a Baby and YOU: Raising Your Child. My bottom line is this: Vaccinations have more benefits than risks. Are they 100% safe? No. But the benefits vastly outweigh the dangers.

Expert Q&A: Can vaccines cause autism?

Refusing to vaccinate has consequences. In 2010, more than 21,000 cases of whooping cough occurred in the U.S., and 22 children younger than a 1 year old died. When children don't get vaccinations, their health and everyone else's is at risk. About 5% of the time vaccinations don't produce immunity, but since there's no easy way to tell for whom the vaccine didn't work, everyone should get vaccinated so the disease never takes hold in a community. Widespread vaccination even helps those 5% of people whose vaccines aren't effective avoid exposure and infection.

Dr. Roizen's Treadmill Talk: Whooping cough epidemic in Washington State

Michael F. Roizen, MD, is the cofounder of RealAge.com and chief wellness officer at the Cleveland Clinic.

Get More Health Tips From RealAge

RealAge Test: Reverse body aging now with the free RealAge test

Not-so-surprising cause of lower back pain

Sharecare Make-a-Change: A little relationship TLC can win you a $1,000 travel voucher!

7 skin cancer prevention tips

Expert Q&A: How does green tea help with weight loss?

What to Read Next

Navy Seal Flashlight Should Be Banned From Public?

Controversial classified military technology has just been released to the public. Get this flashlight before it's banned or runs out -limited supply!

Hey! You have to check out this site!

Millions of singles over age 45 are members of this site already! If you haven’t tried it, just click on the image and start your free registration!

VA Mortgage Rates In 2016

VA Rates as Low as 3.25% (3.405% APR) 30 Year Fixed. Exclusive For Veteran & Military Takes 1 Min!

99 Retirement Tips from Ken Fisher

Tip #18: Beware of Annuities. If you have a $500,000 portfolio, get all 99 tips by downloading “99 Retirement Tips from Ken Fisher”.

Consolidate Credit Card Debt with a Personal Loan

More affordable alternative to Credit Card interest. Low rate Personal Loans. Rates as low as 5.99% APR. $1,000 - $35,000. Compare lenders and save.

Single and over 45?

There are thousands of singles online now! Find your next date here. Click to browse profiles and pics for free!