The biggest enemy to vaccines is complacency. Often a disease becomes so rare in
an area that vaccination will begin to drop. In 1974, Japan saw such low occurrences
of pertussis that they stopped vaccinating children, within five years, the inoculation
rate dropped from 80% to 10%. In 1979 there was an outbreak that affected 15,000
and caused 41 deaths. This is a prime example of how important vaccines are, even
if it seems like they aren’t needed.
As school starts back up it’s vital to recognize the importance of vaccinating
children. It’s widely known that disease spreads in high density areas, and schools
are a prime example of ‘high density’. While many schools require certain vaccines
for a child to attend, it’s essential to help parents understand why vaccinating their
children is important.
Why Vaccines are Important:
• Vaccinating can help eradicate diseases, saving future generations from
• Vaccines save money. Vaccinating cost a fraction of the price of the treatment for
the diseases they prevent.
• While diseases such as polio are rare in the US, many countries around the world
still struggle against the disease. World travel being fast and easy, it’s important
to vaccinate to prevent these diseases from regaining footing in the US.
• Vaccines don’t only benefit the recipient; they also protect many who can’t
• Children are at a higher risk. Children’s immune systems may not be strong
enough to fight some diseases. Before vaccines, children often died from
diseases such as polio and measles which we can now vaccinate against.
For more information about proper vaccination schedules and up-to-date information
on which vaccinations are available visit the CDC’s Immunization Schedule page: http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/schedules/index.html