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The World Health Organization estimates that more than three million lives are saved every year by disease-preventing vaccinations.
In Canada, parents are advised to have their babies immunized against 13 preventable diseases. The vaccines are free to the public.
But there’s currently a growing debate among parents about whether or not to immunize their children.
Anti-vaccine advocates say new evidence suggests that immunizations can damage a child’s developing immune system and brain, leading to disorders like autism, ADHD, allergies, and more.
The Public Health Agency of Canada maintains that vaccines are among the safest tools of modern medicine. The Agency notes five misconceptions about immunization and vaccine safety:
X There are many serious side effects from vaccines.
X Some vaccines can cause autism or sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
X Vaccine-preventable diseases don’t exist in Canada anymore, so there is no need for my child to be immunized.
X Immunizing a child against multiple diseases with one needle can overload the immune system.
X Many people who are immunized still get the disease, and this proves that vaccines don’t work.
There are currently no compulsory immunization laws in B.C. Parents are encouraged to talk to their family doctor about any concerns they might have about vaccines and their children’s immunizations.