It should be made clear that I have been an advocate for vaccines since I learned about them in medical school. It has always made sense to me that we should use every opportunity to prevent disease, bringing to mind the old adage, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”
Vaccines work by engaging our immune systems to fight illnesses that we might be exposed to in the future. This is similar to the way a mother’s immunity to some diseases is passed along to her baby at birth. Unfortunately, that immunity does not last long, even when it is boosted by breastfeeding.
To engage the baby’s immune system as that maternal protection wanes, a series of vaccines are recommended to help more children survive and thrive. However, like almost every medical treatment, there can be some bad effects as well as the desired effects.
Not only that, sometimes the vaccine does not even cause the recipient to develop immunity. However, the process works well enough to give us a thing called “herd immunity” that includes a majority of people in the population who will not develop the disease thus stopping it from spreading when someone does get sick.