Why you should vaccinate


A vaccination is given to prevent getting a certain disease. This makes vaccinations one of the most effective preventive measures to protect against disease. Preventive thinks that the vaccination is used on healthy people before they fall ill. So no illness is treated in order to cure it, but a vaccination protects against the disease from breaking out in the first place.

If a high vaccination rate is achieved, i.e. many or almost all people in a certain area have been vaccinated, certain diseases can be completely eliminated (eradicated) in this area. An example of this is in Europe poliomyelitis, popularly also called poliomyelitis designated.

In most cases nowadays, vaccinations are well tolerated.Failure to vaccinate can lead to a potentially life-threatening disease that could have been effectively prevented by vaccination.

Benefits of vaccination

The benefits of vaccination are obvious. Vaccination protects against illness before it occurs. So it works preventive and prevents severe, sometimes life-threatening courses of the disease.

With a sufficiently high vaccination rate, a vaccination can eradicate a disease. For example the poliomyelitis (Poliomyelitis) in Europe or the smallpox. Before vaccines existed, many people died because they suffered from diseases such as smallpox and there was no adequate therapy.

Disadvantages of vaccination

Vaccination can cause side effects. These can be very different. There may be minimal side effects such as painful reddening and swelling in the area of ​​the injection site, and flu-like symptoms may develop that last for a few days. These include malaise, fatigue, aching limbs and fever. An allergic reaction to a vaccine can also be triggered, which may need to be treated quickly.

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Other side effects may vary depending on the vaccine. With the combination vaccination against Measles, mumps and rubella it can, for example, lead to "vaccine measles". One to two weeks after the vaccination, a fever and a measles-like rash develop. These vaccine measles are rare.

The rumor circulates again and again that sudden infant death syndrome could be related to vaccinations. However, so far there is no evidence that vaccines can cause sudden infant death syndrome.

In rare cases, permanent damage, for example neurological damage, can occur after vaccinations. An example of this is nerve paralysis, which can occur in very rare cases. The list of side effects listed here is not complete, it is only a selection.

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Why are there so many anti-vaccination agents?

The disadvantages listed above are probably some of the reasons for the number of vaccine opponents. However, the half-truths circulating among parents about vaccinations play a role that should not be underestimated.

Vaccinations are supposed to be the Pharmaceutical companies and her profit serve it be not establishedthat Vaccinations help at all would, rather those who oppose the vaccination see it clearly in the last few decades increased hygiene standards as a reason for reducing certain diseases. Other assumptions made by those against vaccinations are that vaccinations chronic allergic diseases such as asthma would be triggered. Also vaccinate that Destroying the nervous system and immune system. In addition, unvaccinated children are healthier than vaccinated children.

A synopsis of all of these statements gives an idea of ​​why more and more parents are turning against vaccination.

It should be emphasized, however, that there is no reliable scientific evidence to support the vaccination-related assumptions made above.

Can vaccination eliminate viral diseases?

The primary aim of vaccination is to reduce the number of diseases and thus contain the disease. With a very high vaccination rate, i.e. when almost all people in a certain area have been vaccinated, there is also the option of completely eliminating a disease. Examples of viral diseases that have already been eliminated in Europe are smallpox, which is caused by the smallpox virus, and polio, which is caused by the poliovirus.

Why should you vaccinate your children?

The advantages and disadvantages of vaccination are already listed above. The main argument in favor of vaccinating one's own child is certainly the protection against serious, potentially life-threatening diseases. If you look at an example of a deliberately not vaccinated child who, for example, suffers from whooping cough (pertussis), a highly contagious infectious disease, is tormented by a strong cough and threatens to suffocate, the reasons for vaccination should be obvious.

The main goal of vaccinations is to completely eradicate certain diseases over time. As can be seen impressively from the example of measles, however, this does not succeed if more and more parents oppose the vaccination and thus the infection rate of children increases.

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Which vaccinations have to be made?

The Standing Vaccination Commission (STIKO), which belongs to the Robert Koch Institute in Berlin, publishes the annual vaccination recommendations. Vaccination is currently not compulsory, but parents can decide individually whether they want their children to be vaccinated or not. The STIKO publishes a vaccination calendar every year, which lists which vaccinations are recommended for which age.

So there are no vaccinations that have to be done, but there are numerous vaccinations that are strongly recommended. The first recommended vaccination is against rotaviruses, which are often the cause of gastrointestinal infections in children. The first vaccination should be given in the 6th week of life, the other two basic immunizations in months 2 and 3-4. It is an oral vaccination.

The next recommended vaccination is the six or sevenfold vaccination in the 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 11th-14th. Month of life. This vaccine contains vaccines against diphtheria, whooping cough, tetanus (tetanus), polio (polyomyelitis), Haemophilus influenza, hepatitis B and - relatively new - pneumococci.

From the 11th month of life, the combination vaccination against measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) is recommended; this should be repeated between months 15-23 to complete the basic immunization.

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Varicella vaccination is recommended between months 11 and 14 and months 13 and 25 (two vaccinations for primary vaccination). Vaccination against meningococci is recommended from the age of 12 months. These can be potentially life threatening Meningitis (Meningitis).

The HPV vaccination is recommended from the age of 9, it should protect against the human papillomavirus, the cervical cancer can trigger.

These are the vaccinations recommended by the Robert Koch Institute, some of which have to be refreshed at certain intervals.

Which vaccinations can be made?

In addition to the vaccinations specifically recommended above, there are numerous other vaccinations that are only necessary for certain target groups. These include the following vaccinations:

  • Vaccination against cholera should be considered when traveling to areas of infection. This is an oral vaccination that should be taken twice with an interval of a few weeks. The vaccination cannot guarantee 100% protection, and it only lasts for a few weeks.
  • The TBE vaccination against early summer meningoencephalitis, which can be transmitted by ticks. It is recommended if the person concerned is in TBE risk areas (for example Bavaria or Baden-Württemberg) lives and has a higher probability of coming into contact with ticks (the carriers of TBE). This can also be the case, for example, for professional reasons (e.g. forest managers)
  • The yellow fever vaccination is given before traveling in Endemic areas (Africa and South America) recommended.
  • Hepatitis A and B are recommended for people who are at increased risk of contracting hepatitis A. This includes medical staff with close patient contact or laboratory staff and staff who work in institutions or childcare. There is a basic vaccination course and regular booster vaccinations.

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  • The influenza vaccination (flu vaccination) is one of the vaccinations that have become increasingly important in recent years. It is especially recommended for medical staff and patients with previous illnesses and from a certain age (over 60 years). Vaccination is also recommended for pregnant women, but usually only in the second trimester.
  • The rabies vaccination is particularly recommended for occupationally exposed persons such as hunters or veterinarians.
  • A typhoid vaccination is recommended when traveling to endemic areas.
  • The tuberculosis vaccination with BCG vaccine has not been recommended for some time.