Home > H1N1 Flu, In the News, Preventable Diseases, Seasonal Flu > Newsweek Explores The Dangers of Not Vaccinating

Newsweek Explores The Dangers of Not Vaccinating

By Amy Pisani

Newsweek has published another excellent piece on the importance of vaccinations. Written by Laurie Garrett, senior fellow for global health at the Council on Foreign Relations, and Dana March, a doctoral candidate at the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University,  “The Long-Term Evidence for Vaccines” examines the current trend of parents shunning vaccines for their kids, most notably the H1N1 vaccine.   

 Garrett and March look at epidemiological evidence from past years showing a correlation between exposure to influenza and medical complications later in life.  They encourage expectant moms and children who are old enough to get vaccinated against the flu to protect themselves in light of this evidence, saying “Overall, prenatal and infant exposure to influenza is strongly associated with cognitive failures. Babies are born with brains and immune systems that are still developing, and will not be hard-wired and strong until their second year of life. Scientists are increasingly discovering links between viral infections during those precious times, and psychiatric problems ranging from lifelong depression to acute learning deficits.”

 Still, the article is not all doom and gloom. The authors point out that, “the still-developing immune system of babies and infants is ripe for the vaccine-induced programming that can confer decades—in some cases, lifelong—protection.”

 The full article is available on their Web site here.

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