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Immunizations! by Dr.Iain Corness

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Despite claims from some sections of the world’s more vocal communities, I was not at all worried when I took my children to have their “shots”. Sure, I know there are ‘risks’, but all medical interventions have a certain degree of risk attached to them. And when you stop to think about it – just “living” has inherent risks.

I came across some interesting Australian statistics when my son asked how dangerous was it to surf Down-Under. Prepare yourself for some chilling data!
Last year, two surfers were killed by sharks. So that means I’m never going in the water again. However, 300 Aussies drowned, 1,200 had accidental deaths, 2,700 died of cancer and 19,000 died from the results of smoking cigarettes.

I shudder to think about the risks of crossing the road in Pattaya, and let’s not talk about Songkran!

With immunization you have to consider the benefit versus risk, and for me, it really is a ‘no-brainer’. I do not want my children to get measles, a much more dangerous illness than most people imagine, for example. The benefit of immunization outweighs risk by far. The same goes for Polio, Hib, Mumps and more.

The following figures will also be of interest. These came from the US comparing the results of immunization today, versus the situation before immunization campaigns. The last column shows the decrease in disease notifications following immunization.

Disease Annual cases Decrease

  • Measles 55 99.9%
  • Diphtheria 0 100%
  • Mumps 6,584 95.7%
  • Pertussis 15,632 89.4%
  • Smallpox 0 100%
  • Rubella 11 99.9%
  • Invasive (HiB) 29 99.9%
  • Polio 0 100%
  • Tetanus 41 96.9%


Those figures tell you that immunization is effective, and for me, the risks are almost negligible compared to the benefits.
Please consider immunization as a high priority for your children too!

 

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