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            The Aga Khan University Hospital Pakistan

Why Vaccinations Matter for Our Children's Health

<p>​Vaccines are one of the greatest public health triumphs in history. They have dramatically reduced the spread of serious diseases that once threatened countless lives. However, in recent years, there has been a concerning rise in vaccine hesitancy and refusal, leading to outbreaks of once-controlled diseases. Pakistan ranks third in the list of countries with the highest number of unvaccinated children and is one of only two countries globally in which polio is still endemic.
</p><p>In this article, we delve into the real risks associated with not vaccinating children, shedding light on the potential consequences for both individuals and communities. </p><p><strong>The Consequences of Not Vaccinating Children</strong></p><p>Vaccination is considered the most effective way of preventing infectious diseases. Unvaccinated children are at higher risk of preventable infectious diseases like pneumonia, measles, diphtheria, tetanus, polio, mumps, rubella, hepatitis, pertussis, and meningitis. The consequences can be grave for infants and young children, whose immune systems may not yet be fully developed to combat these diseases effectively.</p><p>Vaccination provides &#39;herd immunity&#39; or &#39;population immunity&#39;, which means when a large portion of the population is vaccinated or has immunity against a disease, it reduces the spread of the disease. This means vaccinations not only protect those who get the vaccines, but also those who can&#39;t get vaccinated or who may be more vulnerable to the disease, such as infants and people with compromised immune systems.</p><p>Unvaccinated children are prone to having recurrent infections, which can lead to missing out on school, daycare, and other social activities, compromising their lifestyle and ultimately affecting their normal growth and development. Additionally, parents may be forced to miss their work and disturb their job routine to take care of sick children.</p><p>The consequences of not vaccinating children extend beyond individual health outcomes and can have significant economic and societal impacts. Outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases can strain healthcare systems, leading to increased healthcare costs and burden on hospitals and medical resources, creating a vicious cycle.</p><p><strong>Vaccines are Safe and Effective</strong></p><p>There is a lot of misinformation surrounding vaccines, but it is important to rely on trusted sources such as the <a href=",are%20possible%20but%20extremely%20rare.">World Health Organization</a>. Decades of scientific research, along with rigorous testing and clinical trials, have proven vaccines to be safe and effective. The minor side effects some children experience, like soreness at the injection site and mild fever, are far outweighed by the benefits or protection against the risks of vaccine-preventable diseases.</p><p><strong>Vaccination and Social Responsibility </strong></p><p>Vaccination is not just a personal choice; it&#39;s a social responsibility. By vaccinating our children, we not only protect them from serious diseases but also contribute to the health and well-being of our communities. Choosing not to vaccinate not only puts individual children at risk but also undermines the collective effort to control and eradicate preventable communicable diseases. </p><p>The decision to vaccinate children is a critical one with far-reaching implications. While concerns about vaccine safety and efficacy are understandable, the benefits of vaccination far outweigh the risks. By vaccinating our children, we not only protect their health but also safeguard the health of our communities. Let us heed the evidence, trust in science, and unite in our commitment to protecting the well-being of our children by ensuring they receive the vaccines they need to thrive.​
</p><p>To learn more about vaccination, view this awareness session by our vaccine specialists: <a href=""></a>
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