Of late on social media, via various celebrity advocates and professional articles immunisation has been the subject of controversy. By the age of two most children would have received about 30 shots to boost their natural defense against disease and it so happens that this is a time in the developmental stage of a child's heath where they may develop noticeable symptoms in the autism spectrum disorder.
This coincidence is what has been fueling the myth that the vaccinations carried out to safeguard our child's health are the cause of autism. So does vaccination have a side effect? In this article we will delve deeper into the practice of immunisation.
What's in a vaccine?
When a child is born they will have a natural defense against the bombardment of disease causing microbes from the antibodies passed on to them from the womb. However this defense is short lived and the child must on their own develop their own immune system. A vaccine contains a weakened or dead form of a disease causing germ which will prompt a response from the immune system. The key to the vaccination is that the body creates a fast response to the introduced foreign invader and infection fighters called memory cells will circulate around the body recognising and fending off the disease in future.
Are vaccine shots dangerous to my child's health?
The Health Ministry has a stringent procedure when it comes to vaccines or drugs registered for use in the country. Fears about a child's body not being able to handle potent vaccines are very much so misguided as their immune system is exposed to several hundred foreign substances daily.
Will my child's health be affected if I choose not to vaccinate?
According to statistics published in 2016 the number of parents refusing to immunise their children rose from 470 to 1,282. Influenced by anti-vaccination groups these parents believe that by vaccinating their children they expose their child to a range of health problems. However studies also have shown that vaccine-preventable diseases (VPD) such as polio, pertussis and diphtheria have not disappeared because the parent's believe that their child should obtain natural immunity.
Below is a table of diseases protected by immunisation available in Malaysia