Should I immunize my child or not? Should an adult be immunized? There is a lot of debate surrounding immunization. So the question is whether or not you should immunize and if so, what immunizations are necessary and which ones are not?
The question of immunization is no longer a personal matter; it has become a public health issue with requirements that must be met to enter kindergarden and college. Each state has their own guidelines as well as that which is required by the federal government. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention makes it very easy to know what immunizations they recommend and which ones they require. They even offer a link in which you can download a printable copy of the recommended vaccinations indicated for children and immunizations recommended for adults.
The Arkansas Board of Health has a blog dedicated to the immunization changes that went into effect for the 2015 school year. This is a very helpful link that will provide you with more than just the immunization information. You can find links to register for school, links to nutritional guidelines, and much more!
In 2015, there was a reemergence of measles among children. You may remember the outbreak that was traced back to Disneyland in December of 2014. That particular outbreak led to 115 reported cases. But the question still remains: Should an adult get a booster shot? The answer is that it depends upon when you received your vaccine. If you were born before 1957, you are considered immune to measles. Since the vaccine for measles was not invented until 1963 researchers believe that anyone born before the vaccine was invented was exposed to the virus.
Immunization vaccines are available for chicken pox, shingles, flu, pneumonia, Hepatitis, and many more. Typically if you are over 60 you run a higher risk of contracting a virus due to compromised immune systems. Children are also at high risk due to the possibility of coming into contact with someone who has been exposed to a virus or currently has one and doesn’t even know it!
Vaccines are the safest way to protect yourself against disease. Vaccines are monitored for side effects and tested for efficacy or to see how well they work. However, no matter how many tests vaccines endure some people may still have side effects. Typically side effects are fever and soreness at the injection site.
To immunize or not…..talk with your healthcare provider to find which immunizations you may need. Factors that can determine which ones they suggest are your age, your health conditions, your job, and your lifestyle. Remember: diseases that vaccines prevent have no age limit!!! They can occur at any time in your life!