Is improved hygiene a substitute for vaccination | Importance of Immunization


Whenever we hear the word vaccination, the first few things that come to our mind include disease causing viruses, bacteria, fungus etc present in our near vicinity and certain questions start bothering us there and then –

  • Hey, wait a minute, have I got myself & my family members a Hepatitis -B/C vaccine?
  • My goodness, have I missed any of the vaccination that my kiddo was supposed to have as per medical card issued by the Doctor?
  • Are vaccines even important or this whole vaccination thing has been made into a huge business in a proper planned and phased manner, thanks to aggressive marketing etc.

Being a mother, I still remember the kind of butterflies I used to feel in my stomach every time I went to the hospital to get my baby vaccinated. Be it vaccination for  Hepatitis or a DPT immunization against diphtheria, whooping cough & tetanus , I was always interested in knowing the compositions of these vaccines ( being a Pharmacist myself ) , how exactly are they going to work inside my child’s body , how much & for how long associated discomfort will last for the kiddo (because he used to cry out really loud, literally bringing house to floor or should I say the entire Hospital to floor ) . On a lighter note, it’s fact that my curiosity in understanding the whole mechanism & purpose of  vaccination sometimes resulted in my accompanying  husband feeling embarrassed in front of the doctor , as he used to utter his pain later that inside the Doctor’s chamber, more than the doctor , it was me , the Mother India, who used to pass instructions to the nurse concerned about how exactly baby’s vaccination has to be handled.

Actually, like many other, I too sometimes used to wonder that while some main and popular vaccinations are obviously important but what about boosters and other number of vaccinations that Doctors list out? Are all of them really equally critical as is being projected everywhere? These doubts did prevail in my subconscious mind, more so because more often than not, some side-effect of vaccination (though temporary) do happens. In some cases, the child keeps on crying relentlessly for hours together after vaccine, some children experience fever or inflammations with redness etc.

 So, as a mother I really wanted to get myself doubly sure and aware about what vaccinations are important and why exactly are they important. I am thankful to the doctors who patiently helped me & my husband with everything so well.


However, even now, I keep on hearing this discussion that whether an improved hygiene is a substitute for vaccination or not. Please allow me to introduce you all to my perception about vaccinations, especially vaccinations in children, which is based on my very own experience.

See without using any jugglery of words, If I have to summarize my thoughts in a few words, then I would say that a good and improved hygiene can be a supplement to vaccination for ensuring best of health but replacing vaccines merely by maintaining a good hygiene appears to be a risk not worth taking.  While I don’t want to sound like a promoter of vaccination or something but I surely want that detailed and crystal-clear awareness about all the aspects of vaccinations must be there among masses.

Just look a little in your distant past and see how many lives have been saved by vaccination. For example, the number of measles cases registered in the US between 1950 and 1963 were 3 lac-8 lac. Surprisingly, by 1965, the number of cases dropped drastically to 22,000 due to the administration of a newly licensed measles vaccine that was used widely all around. {Source: history of}

If hygiene alone was enough to prevent contagious diseases, chicken pox would have never been an epidemic and in particular, people living in neat & clean posh areas, maintaining a good & health diet would have never ever been affected by ant disease (Infectious disease), say cholera. But clearly, that’s not the case. While probability of them falling sick is less but certainly not zero, isn’t it?

On a concluding note, I would suggest that we must get our children vaccinated as per the immunization schedule fixed by a Doctor. If you have any doubt over a particular Doctor’s or Hospital Management’s intentions, then you can always go for a second opinion but we must keep this the fact in mind that some of the vaccinations are truly indispensable.

Lets be aware , make others aware and move toward a healthier World

What’s #YourCareQuotient? How much do you understand your child when it comes to sleep patterns, feeding and vaccination? Take the easy, interactive quiz that guides you and get the childcare guide now.



 www .historyofvaccines. org/


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