For much of the past two decades, medical experts and public health officials have been combating growing misconceptions about vaccine safety.
Despite the fact that numerous studies have found no evidence to support the notion that vaccines cause autism and other chronic illnesses, proponents of the anti-vaccine movement continue to refuse to vaccinate their children and themselves.
“There is a general anti-science, anti-authority, anti-vaccine feeling among some people in this country—an alarmingly large percentage of people, relatively speaking,” White House coronavirus advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci, the country’s top infectious disease expert, told CNN recently.
Of course, it is up to each individual whether he or she wants to be vaccinated, but to shed more light on the role of this important medical advancement, here are five good reasons why you should strongly consider getting that shot.
Up first is that vaccines are as important to your overall health as diet and exercise. Vaccines are seen to be one of the most convenient and safest preventive care measures available, according to medical experts. Keep in mind that each year, roughly 50,000 adults die from vaccine-preventable diseases in the U.S.
Second on the list is that vaccines won’t give you the disease they are designed to prevent. You are not able to “catch” the disease from the vaccine, as it often contains either weakened or dead viruses that pose no harm.
Third, understand that young and healthy people can get very sick as well. Infants and senior citizens possess a greater risk for serious infections and complications but know that vaccine-preventable diseases can strike anyone—no matter what age.
Next, be aware that vaccine-preventable diseases can impact you economically. For example, an average influenza illness can last up to two weeks, typically with five or six missed days of work. Adults who get infected with hepatitis A lose an average of a month of work.
Finally, know that if you get sick, your spouse, children, grandchildren and parents will be at high risk as well. A vaccine-preventable disease might make you sick for a week or two, but it could prove to be deadly for other members of your family if it spreads to them.
Ethen Kim Lieser is a Minneapolis-based Science and Tech Editor who has held posts at Google, The Korea Herald, Lincoln Journal Star, AsianWeek and Arirang TV. Follow or contact him on LinkedIn.