In recent years, there has been wide spread debate on whether a parent should vaccinate their child or not.
Childhood vaccination programs have had a dramatic impact on child morbidity and mortality worldwide but despite vaccines being one of the most effective health interventions, they continue to be underused.
The problem is that parents are becoming increasingly skeptical of vaccinating their children.
As more and more people choose to avoid vaccination, overall coverage rates decline and the community is exposed to the threat of the disease. The children who are left unvaccinated could be picking up and spreading diseases that are now foreign to us, like the measles or meningitis. Between 2005 and 2010, an average of 197 cases of invasive meningococcal disease was found in Canada each year, with the highest incidence rates being among infants less than one year old. The Public Health Agency of Canada found that approximately 10% of those who have invasive meningococcal disease will die, and of the survivors, 10% to 20% have long term effects, which could include digit or limb amputations, neurologic disabilities or hearing loss.
People who had never witness the devastation of diseases like polio, as a result of widespread vaccination, may think these diseases pose no risk. If vaccination is stopped or if insufficient numbers of people are vaccinated, diseases that were once thought to be eradicated can reemerge.