Parents always want the best for their child. In fact, even before an infant is born, they take great steps to ensure that the baby has all the essentials he needs to thrive and flourish like milk, clothing, beddings, to a safe and clean home environment.
Parenthood: A full-time job
As children grow older, their mothers and fathers work even harder to ensure that their youngster has a fighting chance to a bright future. They invest in educational plans and life insurance policies to assure that their little one can complete his education and live comfortably no matter the circumstance. Aside from establishing financial safety nets, some parents even change the way they live by adopting healthier lifestyles, all for the sake of their child.
Overlooking the needs
Unfortunately, while some parents are caught in the thick of caring and providing for their family, they inadvertently neglect to protect their child’s health by not completing the prescribed set of vaccinations. So, in spite of securing their young one financially, they have unwittingly chosen to gamble on their child’s health, which is the biggest risk any parent could make.
What’s even more alarming is that some parents remain complacent because they believe that it is next to impossible for their child to be infected by any contagious disease.1 Some would rather leave their son or daughter unvaccinated rather than have them experience the most common mild side effects such as swelling or redness on the injection site, fever or fussiness.2
Historical truth on the value of vaccines
An article done by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports that in 1974, Japan had almost eradicated pertussis or whooping cough due to an 80% vaccination rate among children. They only recorded 393 cases of infection nationwide and zero mortalities. Soon after though, rumors regarding the safety and necessity of the pertussis vaccine began to affect their vaccination program, leaving only 10% of infants vaccinated in 1976. Three years later, in 1979, Japan suffered from a terrible pertussis epidemic which left 41 dead and 13,000 infected. This prompted the Japanese government to launch an acellular pertussis vaccine which soon led to the decreased pertussis cases.3
Today, communities are at risk of having history repeat itself. In several reports by the World Health Organization (WHO) and CDC, a resurgence of diseases like measles, diphtheria and pertussis have been seen across the globe, both in developed and emerging countries. 4,5,6,7,8,9
To protect is to immunize
Parents can safeguard their children’s health by following the recommended immunization schedule. Vaccines have been proven to protect children from diseases for generations.
How do vaccines work?
Vaccines work by creating an “imitation” infection but this will not progress to an actual illness. Instead, it triggers the body’s immune system to produce antibodies, as if there is an actual infection.10 The body’s macrophages or white blood cells swallow up the bacteria and viruses from the “imitation” infection and leave parts of the invading bacteria called antigens behind. These antigens are then attacked by antibodies which are produced by B-lymphocytes.
Vaccination strengthens everyone’s immune system. Immunizing a child not only protects the life of your little one, it also protects the well-being of the entire community – particularly those who are too young to be vaccinated, immunocompromised or those who are medically unqualified to be vaccinated.
For vaccines to effectively work, all recommended doses must be completely and timely administered.
There are vaccines that can guard children from HPV. With all these medical options available today, parents now have the opportunity to further safeguard the future of their loved ones. Mothers and fathers can now wisely invest in the health of their children. To learn more about how you can guard yourself and your family against HPV, consult your doctor.
1 MSD. Building Confidence and Addressing Hesitancy. 9th AP HPV Vaccines Scientific Symposium-Session.
2 Vaccine Side Effects/Risks. Retrieved from: https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/parents/vaccine-decision/index.html
3 Vaccines & Immunizations. Why Immunize? (No date). Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vac-gen/why.htm
4 Reported NNDSS pertussis cases: 1922-2016. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/pertussis/images/incidence-graph.png
5 Pertussis (Whooping Cough) Surveillance and Reporting. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/pertussis/surv-reporting.html
6 Clarke, Kristie E.N. US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Measles Cases and Outbreaks. Retrieved from: https://www.cdc.gov/measles/cases-outbreaks.html
7 Review of the epidemiology of diphtheria 2000-2016. Retrieved from:
8 Diptheria – Yemen (22 December 2017). Retrieved from: http://www.who.int/csr/don/22-december-2017-diphtheria-yemen/en/
9 Diphtheria outbreak in the Western Cape Province (August 2017). Retrieved from: http://www.nicd.ac.za/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/Diphtheria-outbreak.pdf
10 How vaccines Prevent Diseases. Retrieved from: https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/parents/vaccine-decision/index.html
*This article was developed by MSD in the Philippines.