Some people wonder why vaccines are still necessary for diseases that are rare. Of Course the answer is pretty simple – the disease is life threatening, and preventing an outbreak is absolutely necessary. When your baby is born, you will be given an infant immunization schedule.
There are still reported cases of measles, mumps, pneumococcal disease, and whooping cough in the United States. Actually, in 2008 there was a threat of measles. There were 896 people who were affected by the middle of 2014. That number doubled from 2013, which is alarming if those numbers continue to climb.
All babies and children are more vulnerable to these types of diseases. That is the primary reason why immunizations are given at birth, and an infant immunization schedule has been adapted. The Hib Vaccine is a prime example. Before it was introduced, many babies and children were affected by bacterial meningitis.
There were over 600 children in the United States who died from Hib meningitis in one year, before the vaccine was available. While other children were affected in other ways, such as becoming deaf, mental disabilities, and seizures. The Hib vaccine was introduced in 1987, and there has been a 98% reduction of Hib cases reported. This is one vaccine that is included on the infant immunization schedule.
There are several vaccines given where the disease is rare, but if that layer of protection is taken away then the disease will become prevalent and spread like wildfire. This will then have an adverse affect on offering vaccines on the infant immunization schedule, and we then have to start back at square one.
This actually happened with the measles vaccine. The number of people receiving the vaccine according to the infant immunization schedule decreased in the 1980s. Due to this decrease, there were more than 100,000 who were affected by the measles, and 120 reportedly died. The vaccine rate rose by 1988 and there were only a reported 89 people who were affected, and only 1 death.
Even though, diseases such as polio and diphtheria are not common in the United States, these diseases can easily be transported by those who are traveling. You do not have to leave the country to become affected, as someone else can carry it back to you. If your baby did not receive that vaccine, according the infant immunization schedule, then they are at risk. If you do not get your babies vaccine, you will want to make sure that they do not travel, and are not around anyone who has traveled.
No matter what the disease is, it always has the chance of finding its way back into society. If we are not vaccinated than an epidemic can easily begin, and wipe out hundreds of people. Diphtheria is a rare disease, but it managed to be the cause of 5,000 deaths between 1990 and 1999 in what use to be the Soviet Union. This was due to a lack of public health services, and individuals not having the means to much needed vaccines.
Vaccines are very much needed, even if the threat of the disease is not current. You never know when the disease could become active and affect us all.