Recently those who challenge the practice of vaccinating babies and children seemingly provide compelling arguments. First, they state that natural immunity is better. But in Australia alone there were 581 deaths from diseases preventable by immunizations between 1989 and 1998. OK. Next, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration refutes the assertion that diseases and disabilities are spread through immunizations. Despite millions of doses of vaccine being administered worldwide, no substantiated cases of actual disease or disability has been documented.

In Germany a study of 496 vaccinated and unvaccinated children found that those who had received inoculations in the first three months of life had fewer infections overall than the unvaccinated group. It is far too easy, the administration affirms, to attribute the increasing numbers of asthma or autism cases to inoculations rather than to investigate further. Another faulty assumption is that those vaccinated actually develop the disease. Last year, fewer than 10 percent of those being vaccinated against measles actually fell sick, and none of them died.

Next, the proposal that natural healing, or cleansing, is superior to immunization is absurd. No homeopathic alternative to immunization has been successful, and to suggest that the world is in a position to “change poor lifestyle habits”any time soon is unrealistic. And their final claim that vaccines themselves are dangerous is untruthful. The exact opposite is true. Even though vaccines can cause side effects, such as pain, redness, or tenderness, no one has died from a hepatitis B vaccine. Unfortunately, every year 5,000 unvaccinated people die from hepatitis B. So while some children develop mild symptoms of the disease after being vaccinated, the substantial number of deaths in areas of the world without vaccinations certainly negates any argument for ceasing immunization.