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  The Minority/ Black Health Blog  

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Should Black Parents Vaccinate Their Children? -- Know the Facts Before You Decide

Black child getting a vaccination

Vaccinations have been around for a long time -- as long as diseases. Vaccinations are a method of preventing certain diseases from occurring, such as polio, diphtheria, and pertussis (whooping cough). In recent years, however, there has been much discussion as to whether or not vaccinations are safe for children. They have even been linked to autism. How can parents decide whether or not to have their children vaccinated? Find out the facts first.

The facts about vaccinations

Vaccines work by introducing into the body substances in vaccines that cause the body’s immune system to produce disease-fighting antibodies. Many diseases like polio are now nearly non-existent due to vaccines. But continuing vaccinations is necessary in order to prevent these diseases from returning. According to the Centers for Disease Control, diseases can remain under control only through vaccinations. Without it, these disease would return, become epidemics again, and take lives.

Are they dangerous?

We first heard about potential dangers linking immunizations to autism back in 1998 when Dr. Andrew Wakefield, a British surgeon and medical researcher, published a study in which he claimed to have found a connection between vaccines and autism. In recent years, celebrity Jenny McCarthy has been one of the most prolific crusaders of an anti-vaccine movement, claiming her son has autism-like symptoms caused by the vaccine for measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR). However, the CDC has performed numerous studies and found no scientific link between the vaccine and autism.

What should parents do?

Get the facts before you decide whether or not to have your child vaccinated.
  • Research reputable sources such as CDC or the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to get all the facts.
  • As your doctor. Don't be afraid to ask them what they know about vaccine side effects/dangers and links to other medical conditions like autism.
  • Have a frank discussion with your doctor about the dangers of not getting your child vaccinated.

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DISCLAIMER: The content or opinions expressed on this web site are not to be interpreted as medical advice. Please consult with your doctor or medical practitioner before utilizing any suggestions on this web site.