Are the side effects of immunizations worse than the diseases they prevent?

Vaccines are studied extensively and continuously and are very safe, while the diseases they prevent can cause serious injuries and even death. The Vaccine Safety Datalink (VSD) founded in 1990 continuously monitors the safety of vaccines and conducts studies about rare and serious adverse events following immunization. Any new vaccines recommended for use in the Unites States are also monitored by the VSD for safety.

Are immunizations necessary?

You protect your child from car accidents with seat belts, you protect them from drowning by teaching them to swim, and you can protect him or her from vaccine-preventable diseases with immunization. Vaccination against infectious diseases remains one of the most successful health interventions in the past 100 years. Countless lives have been saved as a result of vaccines. Despite that, more than 3 million people die from vaccine-preventable diseases each year. Approximately 1.5 million of these deaths are in children less than five years old. In 2014, Ohio experienced the largest outbreaks of the measles in the U.S. in 20 years. The Ohio AAP and our member pediatricians understand that parents may have concerns about vaccinating their children and we support ongoing research and increased funding in that area.

How do I keep my son or daughter calm during vaccinations?

There are many ways to make immunizations less stressful for both the child and adult or caregiver! For small children, bring a favorite toy, book, or blanket to comfort them during the shots. For older children, be honest and explain shots can pinch or sting, but they will not hurt for long.