Immunizations are ImportantLeave a Comment
Immunizations protect children from diseases that were once widespread and have saved thousands of lives. Vaccinations work by introducing weakened versions of viruses into the system. Although the virus injected is not strong enough to produce symptoms, it does trigger the release of antibodies which then protects the body from becoming susceptible to the virus in the future. The first vaccine was created by Dr. Edward Jenner and was made from a cowpox virus to protect humans against smallpox. The term vaccine is derived from the latin word vacca, which means cow.
There are 16 preventable diseases that are vaccinated against during childhood. These diseases include hepatitis A and B, varicella (chicken pox), tetanus, diphtheria, measles, mumps, rubella, pertussis (whooping cough), pneumococcal disease, polio, rotavirus, Haemophilus influenzae type b, and influenza. Many of these viruses are spread simply through coughing or sneezing, so it’s imperative to protect your child via vaccination.
The Childhood Immunization Schedule is evaluated by experts each year, taking into account the most recent scientific data. Once set, the schedule is approved by the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Center for Disease Control, and the American Academy of Family Physicians. Immunizations are scheduled to provide protection when infants and children need it most, while taking into account the immune system and when the body will best respond to the doses. Children receive their first vaccine within days of being born, with additional doses at two, four, six, 12, and 15 months. Boosters are recommended at ages four to six, and flu vaccines are administered every winter.
Although vaccines have been instrumental in eradicating many diseases that were once life threatening, there are parents who remain skeptical and choose not to vaccinate their children. Those who oppose childhood immunization sometimes claim that certain diseases are no longer a threat, and vaccinations aren’t necessary. However, it must be taken into consideration that these diseases are no longer prevalent because of vaccines, not in spite of them.
The benefits of vaccinating your child far outweigh the potential risks and common side effects. Contact Pediatric Partners to schedule your child’s well-child checkup or immunization visit, and make sure that your little one is protected!