Do immunizations cause SIDS?

No. Multiple research studies have shown no link between Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and immunizations. In 2003 the Institute of Medicine (IOM) reviewed studies looking for possible relationships between SIDS and vaccines, concluding vaccines do not cause SIDS. In fact, SIDS deaths have been declining since 1994 when the American Academy of Pediatrics began the “Back to Sleep” campaign.

Why should my son or daughter be immunized against diseases that aren’t around anymore?

Many serious diseases are nearly eradicated thanks to vaccines. But, unless the disease is completely eliminated, it’s important to keep immunizing. For example, polio used to be a very deadly disease in the United States, crippling and killing tens of thousands of people in the 1940s and 1950s. The U.S. has been polio-free since 1979 thanks to a very effective vaccine. However, polio still exists in other countries and could be just a plane-ride away from the United States. This is why children in the United States still receive four doses of the polio vaccine.

Can getting so many vaccines at once harm my son or daughter?

Babies have stronger immune systems than you might think, and they can handle far more germs than what they receive from vaccines. In fact, the amount of germs in vaccines is just a small percentage of the germs babies’ immune systems deal with every day. A lot of consideration and research went into creating the immunization schedule most doctors use, and it has consistently been proven safe and effective. The use of alternative schedules (spreading or “spacing out” vaccines so babies don’t receive so many shots at each check-up) is actually more likely to make a baby sick. Studies show that many babies on alternative immunization schedules never get all the vaccines they need. In addition, alternative schedules can be a real hassle. Spacing out vaccines over more doctor visits means that you’ll have to take your child to the doctor — and your child will have to deal with getting a shot — more often.

Who decides the immunization schedule?

Each year, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) publishes immunization schedules for children, preteens and teens. These schedules summarize recommendations for routine vaccines for children age 18 years and younger. The recommended immunization schedules are approved by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG).

Why should I subject my son or daughter to a painful shot if vaccines aren’t 100% effective?

Few things in medicine work 100% of the time, but vaccines are one of the most effective weapons we have against disease — they work in 85% to 99% of cases. They greatly reduce your child’s risk of serious illness (particularly when more and more people use them) and give diseases fewer chances to take hold in a population. It can be difficult to watch kids get a shot, but the short-term pain is nothing compared with suffering through a potentially deadly bout of diphtheria, pertussis, or measles.

What is Herd Immunity?

• A form of immunity that occurs when a certain level of the population within a community is vaccinated against certain infectious diseases to protect those who may not be fully immunized or cannot be fully immunized.n• Typically it takes 90% of the population within a community to reach herd immunity. This is for each and every vaccine. n• For example 90% of the community should be immunized against Measles, Mumps, and Rubella (MMR vaccine) for herd immunity to be reached.n• Herd immunity may also be called: Community Immunity, Social immunity, or Population immunity

I heard there is a problem with the rotavirus vaccine?

Rotavirus is one of the most common causes of diarrhea in young children. In 1999, a rotavirus vaccine was taken off the market because it was linked to an increased risk for intussusception, a type of bowel obstruction, in babies. Today, two different rotavirus vaccines called RotaTeq and Rotarix are available and very safe. Some studies suggest that they have a very small increased risk for intussusception, but that problem is rare. These vaccines have been shown to prevent the majority of cases of rotavirus infection and almost all of the severe cases. The vaccine is now on the regular immunization schedule to be given orally to infants as a liquid during standard vaccination visits — RotaTeq at ages 2 months, 4 months, and 6 months, and Rotarix at ages 2 months and 4 months. Your doctor will have the most current information.

How does Herd/Community Immunity work?

• Herd/Community immunity works by breaking the chain of infection. If 90% of people are immune to an infection, it is hard for the organism to find a person to infect and thus the spread of infection is broken. n• Many vaccine preventable diseases are highly contagious – for example Measles is so contagious that 90% of people susceptible to the infection who come into contact with someone who has the disease will be infected.

Do immunizations cause SIDS, multiple sclerosis, or other problems?

There are concerns, many of which circulate on the Internet, linking some vaccines to multiple sclerosis, sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), and other problems. To date, studies have failed to show any connection between immunizations and these conditions. The number of SIDS cases has actually fallen by more than 50% in recent years, whereas the number of vaccines administered yearly has continued to rise.

Who is protected by Herd/Community Immunity?

Certain members of communities may be at an increased risk for many vaccine preventable diseases including the very young (too young to be fully immunized), the elderly (variety of reasons), or those whose immune system is too weak to offer protection (cancer patients receiving Chemo).