Surprisingly, even though Hannah’s symptoms started after her vaccinations at nineteen months, that does not imply she should not have received the vaccinations. Remember that her symptoms could have been triggered by any stressor, including a fever from a vaccine preventable illness. The goal for children with Hannah’s disease is to prevent unnecessary stress on their systems.
The question, therefore, is whether a child is more likely to develop stress from a side effect of the vaccine or from catching the illness itself. The answer depends on the illness. In the case of polio, the disease is so rare that the side effects of the vaccine are probably more common than becoming ill from the wild poliovirus. However, for other illnesses that are more common, such as chickenpox or pertussis (whooping cough), the trade-off might be different. In general, though, the recommendation is that for almost all children, the benefits of preventing a serious disease outweigh the risks of side effects from any given vaccine.