Posts for tag: Vaccinations
The importance of immunizations
Childhood immunizations are one of the most important safeguards against communicable diseases and their serious, long-term complications. Your pediatrician closely adheres to the vaccination schedules published by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Why? Well, there's nothing more important than your youngster's health and well-being, and immunizations effectively guard them.
Just what is an immunization?
Most immunizations are given as "shots," or injections, but some, such as the Rotavirus vaccine, are oral medications. However administered, vaccines boost your child's immune system in its battle against diseases which easily spread from person to person.
Each vaccine contains a small amount of a killed or weakened micro-organisms. These altered viruses or bacteria raise the body's defenses against a particular illness such as chicken pox. pneumonia, polio, tetanus, and more...up to 14 in all by time your child is two years old, says the CDC.
Are immunizations necessary?
Your pediatrician, his or her colleagues and decades of research prove that vaccines protect the health of individual children and of the community at large. Also called herd immunity, community immunity works best when as many babies and youngsters receive all their "shots" on schedule. Community immunity protects youngsters who cannot receive vaccines because of cancer treatment, HIV infection or other serious reason. It also shields the general population when people travel from countries which cannot provide access to these important medications.
Both the AAP and the CDC publish and recommend set vaccine schedules carried out at well-baby and well-child visits at the doctor's office. In addition, there is a "catch-up" schedule for children who have begun their immunizations late or had them interrupted by illness or other serious concern.
Your pediatrician's services
They're so important. Your child's doctor keeps your child's immunization records and can distribute them to schools, camps, college, sports, daycare and other organizations who require proof of up-to-date vaccines. The doctor also monitors your child for any adverse reactions, although typically, vaccines produce no more than:
- Localized redness and soreness at the injection site
- Low grade fever
- Pain and swelling
Are you one of the many parents worried about giving your child his or her vaccines? If so, you aren't alone. Every year, doctors see patients who express concern or flat-out refuse to vaccinate their children. Thankfully, however, many of the concerns about vaccines are based on misinformation. Here are four very common vaccine myths, as well as the truth that refutes them!
1. Vaccines Cause Autism and Other Disorders
While autism has been on the rise lately, it isn't because of vaccinations. The study that expressed concern about the link between the two was based on poor quality research and was later retracted. Unfortunately, this was not until after vaccine critics heard the news and a false reputation for autism causation spread. The fact of the matter is that the link between autism and vaccines has been unequivocally refuted by good research, and no sound link between the two has ever been established.
2. The Diseases that Vaccines Prevent Aren't a Threat Anymore
While it's true that most of the diseases vaccines are intended to treat are no longer a major public health concern today, this is, in fact, thanks to continuous vaccinations! By no means does this mean that these diseases are gone for good. In fact, outbreaks still happen in areas when communities fail to vaccinate on schedule. Steady vaccination creates an effect called 'herd immunity,' where, because most individuals are vaccinated, those who cannot be (caused by a variety of factors, including ongoing cancer treatment or autoimmune disorders) are still protected from deadly diseases. Not only is vaccinating your child keeping them safe, it's the responsible choice to protect your friends and neighbors. Help those who cannot help themselves by getting your child vaccinated!
3. Having Too Many Vaccines at Once Will Harm My Child's Immune System
While the number of vaccines children receive can be overwhelming, that doesn't mean they are unsafe. Children are exposed to thousands of new germs throughout their childhoods, and their bodies are used to encountering them and dealing with them all at once. It's no different with vaccines.
4. It's Safer to Wait Until Children are Older to Vaccinate Them
If we knew exactly when children would be exposed to a terrible disease and which disease it would be in advance, it would be easy to vaccinate them right before they were exposed. The reality, however, is that we never know what children will be exposed to and when. The sooner they are vaccinated, the greater the chances that their bodies will be prepared whenever and if ever they are exposed.
Vaccines may seem frightening, but don't let the myths scare you away. When it comes to keeping your children healthy, vaccines are the way to go.