Science tells us that vaccines protect children from life-threatening illnesses. Every health organisation and government recommends vaccination based on evidence based, peer reviewed studies involving over 500,000 children, but one fatally flawed study involving only 12 children and no scientific basis (the data was falsified) has led the way to an anti-vaccine movement which is now causing outbreaks of the deadly measles virus and whooping cough. It is important to note that the World Health Organisation states that if only 5% of people are not vaccinated then EVERYONE is at risk (called herd immunity)! Bad science, misguided celebrities, and uninformed social movements have contributed to a confusing and dangerous online discourse.
The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services and Sesame Street, have teamed up with Dr. Vivek Murthy, surgeon general of the U.S. to talk about vaccinations. Dr Vivik Murthy conducts Elmo’s checkup to explain how vaccines actually work and why they’re so critical to children’s health.
From the U.S Health and Human Services blog “Vaccines are among the most successful and cost-effective public health tools we have for preventing disease and death. They not only help protect vaccinated individuals, but they also help protect entire communities by preventing and reducing the spread of infectious diseases. Among children in the U.S. born between 1994 and 2013, routine vaccinations will prevent an estimated 322 million illnesses, 21 million hospitalizations, and 732,000 deaths over the course of their lifetimes.
See the recommended immunisation schedule for Australian children here. Ask your child’s pediatrician for the recommended immunisation schedule for your country and don’t forget to tell your doctor if you are traveling overseas!