by Shantella Y. Sherman
Special to the NNPA from the Afro-American Newspaper

Through advancements in medical science, children can be protected against more diseases than ever before. Some diseases, like polio that once injured or killed millions of children, are no longer common in the U.S. The National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases note the following benefits to infant immunization.

Vaccinations are largely safe and effective 

Vaccines are only given to children after a long and careful review by scientists, doctors, and healthcare professionals. Vaccines will involve some discomfort, however, serious side effects following vaccination, such as severe allergic reactions, are very rare.

Immunization protects others 

Children in the U.S. still get vaccine-preventable diseases. There has been a resurgence of measles and whooping cough (pertussis) over the past few years, with nearly 50,000 cases reported since 2010, causing a renewed challenge to fight them.

Immunizations can save your family time and money 

A child with a vaccine-preventable disease can be denied attendance at schools or daycare facilities. Some vaccine-preventable diseases can result in prolonged disabilities and can take a financial toll because of lost time at work, medical bills, or long-term disability care.

Immunization protects future generations 

Vaccines have reduced and, in some cases, eliminated many diseases that killed or severely disabled people just a few generations ago. For example, the smallpox vaccination eradicated that disease worldwide, making vaccination against smallpox unnecessary.

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