Are Vaccines Safe?

Recent debates concerning child vaccines have led to a growing trend of parents opting not to immunize their children. Several organizations have been in the public questioning the safety of vaccines. One such group, the National Vaccine Information Center, sites several horror stories of child immunizations that went wrong. Like a seven year old boy named Terry who was left paralyzed by the live polio vaccine he received as a baby. The National Vaccine Information Center and others claim that this is one of many cases that take place in the U.S. every year.

However, this debate is not one sided. Their is plenty of research out there that would suggest that vaccines are very safe. In 2004, The Institute of Medicine (IOM) released a new report concerning vaccines and autism. The IOM is a nonprofit organization providing scientific advice to the government. The organization has experts in the fields of pediatrics, neurology, and infectious disease. The 2004 report release by the IOM found that vaccines are not assoicated with autism. This is just one of many reports suggesting that vaccines are indeed safe for children.

Anti-vaccination groups contend that the issue revolves around money while pediatricians argue that the real concern is in the increased risk of outbreak. It is estimated that every 5 years, around 400,000 children go without vaccination. And they believe that this number is clumped together in a few states which, they believe, greatly increases the risk of an outbreak.

As with any issue, there are two sides and a case, however strong or weak, can be made for both. The bottom line is, do your homework. Get educated on the topic especially if you are unsure. There is plenty of material out there and it is an extremely important decision.

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