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Friday, February 15, 2013

NATURAL IMMUNITY



Ecclesiastes 3:10

Viewing the King James Version. Click to switch to 1611 King James Version of Ecclesiastes 3:10.

I have seen the travail, which God hath given to the sons of men to be exercised in it.

In the past decade we’ve seen a shift toward green, eco-friendly and natural living. Many of us have worked to reduce our personal waste, preserve Mother Nature’s gifts, and to keep toxins and anything labeled “artificial” out of our homes and our bodies. Some parents want to “green our vaccines” by calling out chemicals and seemingly scary-sounding ingredients.

The truth is, all vaccine ingredients are tested together to be safe, and each ingredient is there to produce a stronger response in your baby’s body to create immunity toward a specific disease.

Some of the ingredients in vaccines have raised concern among parents and have increased the appeal of natural immunity, but the only way to get natural immunity to a disease is to acquire it through actual infection. This means that you have to get sick, and sometimes very sick, to develop resistance. 

Vaccines, on the other hand, induce a natural immune response in the body without the suffering of getting sick with disease. Vaccines are safe because the viruses or bacteria used in vaccines are dead or have been severely weakened. Our bodies recognize these weakened invaders and create antibodies to protect us against future infection. In this way, we trick our bodies into thinking we’ve already had the disease.

Proper hand washing, healthy nutrition, and cough etiquette can help limit the spread of illness, but these practices only go so far in stopping the spread of infectious disease. Vaccination helps to reduce the overall spread of disease, and helps to protect those who cannot be vaccinated, have a weakened immune system or are pregnant. These people are at an increased risk of exposure to vaccine-preventable diseases, and rely on the vaccinated members of their community to reduce spread of infection.

Widespread and persistent immunization efforts have lowered the incidence rates of several serious illnesses — including diphtheria, tetanus, measles and polio — by more than 95 percent since the beginning of the 20th century. This is all thanks to vaccines, not people building natural immunity.

It is true that vaccines are not 100 percent effective.  Most childhood vaccines are 85 to 95 percent effective. During a disease outbreak, a number of vaccinated people could be infected by the disease. However, children who have been immunized will most likely have a less serious illness. Those who are not vaccinated are in the greatest danger of more serious complications. Immunizations are the best protection available.

There is no need for children today to suffer from these preventable diseases. The possible side effects from the vaccine are much less common than the possible ills of the disease. Both natural and immunity from vaccines provide protection, but getting sick is just not worth the risk.

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