Vaccinations save lives, prevent epidemics

With too many parents in some areas of the country not having their children vaccinated, it is time to review the proven medical science and the extreme importance of getting vaccinations.

Not receiving vaccinations is potentially very dangerous for these children and others. The true scientific proof follows.

I previously attended a scientific medical program about vaccinations presented by one of the nation’s medical experts on this subject. The truly medically scientific information was very valuable, especially in light of all the totally non-scientific, negative, and totally false information being spread around about vaccinations today. In my medical judgment, this false information being spread around about vaccinations is not only dangerous, but may also result in very serious medical issues in children and adults who do not receive vaccinations.

Perhaps the best example of how vaccinations have truly saved so many lives and eliminated so much medical morbidity is the polio vaccine.

The first polio vaccine was developed by Jonas Salk, first tested in 1952, and announced to the world by Salk on April 12, 1955. The Salk vaccine consists of an injected dose of killed poliovirus. In 1954, the Salk vaccine was tested for its ability to prevent polio. The Salk vaccine was proved to prevent polio and wide-spread polio vaccinations were done. By 1957, following mass immunizations promoted by the March of Dimes, the annual number of polio cases in the United States was dramatically reduced by more than 90 percent.

Today, because of the polio vaccine, the dreaded disease of polio is now nearly non-existent.

The claim that vaccines cause autism is totally false, negative, and untrue. This false information about vaccinations resulted from a fraudulent study done in England. This study that tried to link autism to childhood vaccines is now known to be an “elaborate fraud” that has done long-lasting world-wide damage to public health. After a thorough investigation of this small 12 person study, the highly respected British Medical Journal reported that the study’s author had altered the medical histories of all 12 of the patients reviewed in this study. The findings reported in this study were then proven to be completely false.

Here is the true positive impact of vaccines on U.S. health today. Our federal government reports that because of U.S. children receiving the recommended childhood immunizations, around 20 million illnesses and more than 40,000 deaths have been prevented, resulting in approximately $70 billion in health care savings. Vaccinations are known to be very effective primarily due to two medical science factors. First, once a person is immunized against a specific disease producing organism, the number of people getting that disease is dramatically decreased. Second, when a large population is immunized, unvaccinated individuals may also benefit from a reduced risk of exposure to these disease producing organisms. Because of these vaccines, U.S. children’s health has improved, and the quality and length of their lives have increased.

As a result of the availability of vaccinations, most vaccine-preventable diseases that had been health threats for centuries have experienced a dramatic decline in mortality and morbidity. Here is another example of the profound effectiveness of vaccines. Prior to tetanus vaccines, tetanus was a very serious and potentially fatal disease. With the tetanus vaccine, the mortality from tetanus has decreased by 99 percent. Obviously, this dramatic and very positive result is directly attributed to the tetanus vaccine.

Let me close with this quote from the U.S. National Institutes of Health. “The bottom line is that vaccination is one of the best ways parents can protect infants, children and teens from many known potentially harmful diseases. Vaccine-preventable diseases can be very serious, may require hospitalization, or even be deadly; especially in infants and young children.

It is essential that we recognize the extraordinary success of childhood vaccination, and that we look to the abundant scientific evidence that documents the safety and vital role of vaccines in the health of our Nation.”

EDITOR’S NOTE: Dr. Jim Surrell is the author of “The ABC’s For Success In All We Do” and the “SOS (Stop Only Sugar) Diet” books. Requests for health topics for this column are encouraged. Contact Dr. Surrell by email at