The Hows and Whys of Baby Vaccines

Is it ever preferable for my child to get the natural disease?

No. The diseases we vaccinate children against can have serious consequences. Many parents today have had chickenpox. They recovered uneventfully, perhaps sustaining just a few scars from the pox.

But some children don't pull through quite so easily. In some cases, chickenpox can make children susceptible to infection and cause pneumonia. Since the chickenpox vaccine was introduced in 1995, however, the number of hospitalizations has gone down by 70 percent and the death rate has declined.

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