Here in Nicaragua, the government does a widespread campaign a few times a year, sending health care workers out to homes to vaccinate kids that have not made it into a clinic to get their vaccinations. Parents pull out vaccination cards and happily hold their kids while health workers administer vaccines. Unfortunately, Nicaragua is poor and cannot do as wide a spectrum of vaccines as is offered in the States.
Hepatitis A and B vaccines are only provided through private care physicians and are expensive, even though Hepatitis A and E are among the highest infectious diseases here in Nicaragua. All versions of hepatitis damage the liver.
|Photo: Greg Goodman|
Nicaraguans, especially poor Nicaraguans, would love to have access to all vaccines but they only have free access to basic ones: polio, tetanus, pertussis, measles, and TB for infants.
In the States, these basic diseases are creeping into society again…mostly because people are afraid of autism. The study linking vaccines to autism has been debunked again and again. In one recent study, children who had older siblings with had autism were given vaccines and still the autism rate did not change.
It seems that choosing not to have vaccines is a first world problem…one that we in the developing countries cannot for the life of us wrap our heads around.