July 31, 2013 -- Vaccines are victims of their own success.
In the 1970s and 1980s, you could not walk into any children’s hospital in this country without seeing several children with severe infections such as bacterial meningitis and sepsis (bacteria infecting the bloodstream). Many of those children died because of those infections, were left with severe brain damage, or survived with disabling complications.
Now, these infections have become uncommon.
Thanks to vaccines.
During the same period, as many as 10,000 children were paralyzed by polio; 20,000 newborns with mental retardation, birth defects or deafness; 4 million cases of measles with as many as 500 deaths every year, according to the Vaccine Education Center at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.