Vaccines are safe, effective, and necessary.
They are neither 100% safe nor 100% effective.
That doesn’t make them any less necessary though.
It’s easy to see why when you look at all of the benefits that vaccines have given us.
Perceptions of Risks vs Benefits of Vaccines
One of the reasons that some parents become vaccine-hesitant is that they forget about the many benefits of vaccine.
That’s not surprising, as the better vaccines work, the less obvious their benefits are to everyone. After all, few people remember what it was like in the pre-vaccine era.
That makes it easy to for some people to downplay the benefits of vaccines.
Unfortunately, at the same time, some parents might over-estimate the risks of vaccines. And that makes it even easier for them to justify a decision to skip or delay their child’s vaccines.
What Are the Benefits of Vaccines?
For most of us, the greatest benefit of any vaccine is that it keeps us from worrying that our kids will get a vaccine-preventable disease. If they do get sick, we don’t worry that every fever is measles or that every cough is pertussis either.
“It is also much cheaper to prevent a disease than to treat it. In a 2005 study on the economic impact of routine childhood immunization in the United States, researchers estimated that for every dollar spent, the vaccination program saved more than $5 in direct costs and approximately $11 in additional costs to society.”
NIH: National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
Among the other benefits of available vaccines are that:
- they eradicated smallpox and have helped control most other vaccine-preventable diseases (although that depends on what part of the world you live in), which has saved millions of lives
- in addition to saving lives, vaccines have helped kids avoid the complications that come with surviving many natural infections, including hearing loss, blindness, and neurological impairments, etc.
- they provide herd immunity for those who are too young to be vaccinated or who have a medical exemption and can’t be vaccinated
- some vaccines can prevent cancer
- they make traveling safer
- some vaccines can help prevent the development of antibiotic resistance
- they are associated with a protective effect against SIDS
- vaccines save money
The benefits of vaccines become more obvious when folks stop vaccinating.
Invariably, we start to see outbreaks.
Then they quickly remember why vaccines are necessary, vaccines rates go up, and the outbreaks get under control.
And everyone understands that all of great benefits of vaccines far outweigh any of their small risks. They also begin to hopefully understand that not everyone can attempt to hide in the herd or follow an alternative immunization schedule. That too can simply lead to more outbreaks, as the number of unvaccinated folks increases, at least temporarily.
What to Know About the Benefits of Vaccines
The great benefits of vaccines, which include that they have saved millions of lives, far outweigh any small risks.
More About the Benefits of Vaccines
- Top 10 Reasons to Protect Children Through Vaccination
- Vaccine Benefits vs Risks
- Five Important Reasons to Vaccinate Your Child
- CDC – Benefits from Immunization During the Vaccines for Children Program Era — United States, 1994–2013
- WHO – Vaccination greatly reduces disease, disability, death and inequity worldwide
- CDC – Why Immunize?
- Who benefits from vaccines?
- Economic benefits of vaccines
- The benefits of the measles vaccine go beyond measles
- Vaccine adverse events are rare–vast benefits outweigh risks
- The horrible consequences of seeking “natural” immunity
- Study – Valuing vaccines: deficiencies and remedies.
- Study – Beyond efficacy: The full public health impact of vaccines.
- Study – Maternal benefits of immunization during pregnancy.
- Study – Do immunisations reduce the risk for SIDS? A meta-analysis.
5 thoughts on “What Are the Benefits of Vaccines?”
Thank you for all of this fantastic information about vaccines. I loved your point about them being able to save you money, and make traveling safer. I know that I wouldn’t want to get sick while I am visting a foreign area.
It’s pretty incredible that vaccines eradicated smallpox. In today’s world, smallpox doesn’t seem like much but from what I understand it used to be very serious. It’s amazing how far modern medicine has come and has been able to help us stay protected from infections and disease.
I’m pregnant, and so my husband and I are trying to decide if we want our child to get its vaccinations when the time comes. We’ve been going back and forth about this, and so I really appreciate you listing off various studies discussing the impact on health. It has helped me lean more towards vaccinating my baby, but I think that I’d use a slow track schedule.
I am using this website for an Essay. I need to cite my resources so, I am wondering who the author of this article is?