By| Published: April 26th, 2017
Good health and proper development are major concerns parents have for their children in the formative years. A new-born is at higher risk of getting infected with diseases that could hamper the growth, damage the brain or even lead to death.
For a healthy outside, one must start from the inside. Immunization is foremost solution to do that. In the last 50 years, vaccines are known to have saved lives of many infants and children than any other medical intervention. Immunization works at protecting future generations as well.
What is a vaccine?
The body produces right antibodies to fight against antigens, for efficient functioning of the immune system. Antigens on the other hand are germs that try to enter the body and are treated as foreign substances by the immune system.
Vaccines contain weakened versions of antigens that imitate the infection of the disease in the body, prompting the immune system to develop antibodies. The antibodies produced fight the disease, thus helping protect the immune system from future exposures to the disease.
Are vaccines safe?
Vaccines pass many safety and standard tests before they are approved for administration in infants and children. The protection provided by vaccines aims at outweighing even the miniscule of serious problems, thus making many serious childhood diseases rare.
Do vaccines have side effects?
Vaccines are designed to protect infants and children from diseases, and like any medication they also can cause side effects. Some vaccines may cause mild or temporary side effects such as fever, soreness or even a lump under the skin where the shot is given.
When should a child be vaccinated?
Immunization begins right at birth. It starts with the natural form where the child receives antibodies through the breast milk from the mother to fight against the diseases. The new-borns also receive their first vaccine soon after they are born.
Recommendations about when to vaccinate infants and children changes from time to time. A copy of the schedule of vaccination from organizations such as the Indian Academy of Paediatrics or recommendations of the doctors can help parents decide the time of vaccination.
Are there any reasons to avoid vaccination in children?
There are some cases where vaccination is not recommended. For example, if a child has certain type of cancer or disease, or who are on drugs lower than their body’s ability to resist infection, it is best to avoid.
In some cases, some children have a serious reaction to the first shot in the series of vaccinations. That is when paediatrician/family doctor updates about the pros and cons of giving the remaining shots.
Infants and children’s immune system is stronger than what is perceived to be. Vaccination makes them stronger and ready to fight certain diseases.
It is highly recommended that parents follow a routine immunization schedule that ensures their child’s protection.
It is best to consult a doctor or healthcare specialist to know where they can immunize and at what intervals.
Maintaining a record of the scheduled dosages also will keep the unwanted stress about infants or children being unimmunized and unprotected.
Even though immunization is mandatory and proved to be safe, it is advisable to talk to the doctor for any concerns regarding the vaccination children should receive.