Last Updated on
As parents, we would do anything to make sure our babies are safe and healthy — from sacrificing sleep to getting extra hours at work. One sure-fire way of easing many of our worries, as explained and proved by science, is vaccines.
Here’s the best thing — vaccines protect not just your baby, but basically everyone else around you as well. Vaccines are so important that some infant vaccinations are even made compulsory by law in Singapore.
Just like any law, not following them leads to penalties. If the parent doesn’t vaccinate their child accordingly, they will have to pay a fine that can reach more than $500 after two offenses.
What Are The Mandatory Vaccines In Singapore?
There are two vaccines required by law in Singapore, namely Measles and Diphtheria vaccinations.
Measles is a highly contagious viral disease that infects the respiratory tract first and spreads throughout the body if left untreated. Its symptoms, such as high fever, sore throat, runny nose, usually appear within 14 days of contact with the virus.
Diphtheria is an infectious bacterial disease that causes difficulty in breathing and swallowing, paralysis, and lung infection. If that’s not concerning enough, this disease also spreads through direct physical contact or simply breathing the same air as infected people who coughed or sneezed near you.
In 2017, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), more than 100,000 people died from measles, most of which are children under five years old. Moreover, up to 10% of the cases of Diphtheria are fatal and children are still the ones with a higher mortality rate.
What Other Vaccines Should You Consider?
Aside from the two vaccines mentioned above, there are a lot more vaccines that help prevent diseases responsible for thousands of deaths all over the world. Although these aren’t required by law, you and every parent should definitely consider giving these vaccines to your child:
- Hepatitis B
- Rotavirus (RV)
- Human Papillomavirus (HPV)
- Inactivated Polio Vaccine (IPV)
Why Are Some People Against Vaccines?
A quick Google search would give you an idea of what a vaccine is, the types of vaccines, why you should vaccinate your children, and journals on vaccine debate as well. Unfortunately, myths and misconceptions about vaccines still spread fear among parents, such as:
1. Vaccines contain harmful toxins that cause diseases.
Ingredients such as mercury, aluminum, and formaldehyde are household names in the list of “If I’m using a product that has this, I will die.” Yes, they are toxic but only at certain levels — milk, paint, cosmetics, and drinking water are just some of the things you are exposed to every day that contain those “toxins” above.
Vaccines also have these ingredients in extremely low dosages that wouldn’t harm your child’s health. More importantly, there is zero scientific evidence showing that the amount of these ingredients in vaccines causes health risks.
2. Babies can’t handle multiple vaccines.
Don’t underestimate your baby’s immune system — they’re much stronger than you think. The moment they’re born, babies are already exposed to countless bacteria and viruses that would put these “supposedly harmful” vaccines to shame.
Science has proven, yet again, that getting multiple vaccines does not cause any lasting damage. There are vaccines that are even offered as combinations which, if you think about it, is not just good for your baby but for us parents as well — lesser hospital visits, lesser expenses.
3. It’s unnecessary to vaccinate a baby at such a young age.
There’s a reason why vaccines should be given at the earliest stages of a child’s life but it’s often seen as useless. In reality, diseases are deadliest for children at a young age because they don’t have the necessary antibodies to protect them yet.
We just said that babies have a strong immune system, which is still true, but that alone will not keep them from getting life-threatening diseases. They get antibodies from their moms which makes them immune but only to some diseases.
4. Better hygiene is better immunization than vaccines.
Our lives have definitely improved in terms of sanitation but its impact on diseases is indirect. Of course, we can’t deny the positive effects better hygiene brings but it’s not enough to give us immunity from diseases.
Data showing the history of vaccines prove that vaccines are responsible for the significant drop in disease rates. For example, the number of measles incidence decreased significantly ever since measles vaccines have been introduced.
Coincidence? Science definitely doesn’t think so.
Talk With Your Doctor
Being cautious of basically anything and everything for our children’s safety is completely understandable — every parent feels the same way. But decisions brought by these concerns should still be grounded on credible sources, especially when we’re on the topic of life or death.
When in doubt, always ask your baby’s doctor.