Why Childhood Immunization Are Important
Childhood vaccines or immunizations can seem overwhelming when you are a new parent. Immunization schedule for children that are recommended by agencies and organizations, such as the CDC, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the American Academy of Family Physicians cover about 14 different diseases.
Today, children in the United States routinely get vaccines that protect them from more than a dozen diseases such as measles, polio, tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis (whooping cough). Most of these diseases are now at their lowest levels in history, thanks to years of immunization. Children must get at least some vaccines before they may attend school.
Immunization or vaccine starts at early age
Young children are at risk for infectious diseases because their immune systems have not yet developed to fight serious diseases. As a result, diseases like whooping cough or pneumonia can be dangerous for infants and young children.
Immunization makes children immune to serious diseases without getting sick first. Without a vaccine, you must actually get a disease in order to become immune to the germ that causes it. Vaccines work best when given at certain ages. For example, children don’t receive measles vaccine until they are at least one year old.
Types of vaccines
There are a few different types of vaccines. They include:
- Attenuated (weakened) live viruses are used in some vaccines such as in the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine.
- Killed (inactivated) viruses or bacteria are used in some vaccines, such as in IPV.
- Toxoid vaccines contain an inactivated toxin produced by the bacterium. For example, the diphtheria and tetanus vaccines are toxoid vaccines.
- Conjugate vaccines (such as Hib) contain parts of bacteria combined with proteins.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that kids get combination vaccines (rather than single vaccines) whenever possible. Vaccines offered in combination helps reduce the number of shots a child receives.
Keeping track of immunizations
Most child may have a complete vaccinations between birth and 6 years. Many vaccines given more than once, at different ages, and in combinations. This means that you’ll need to keep a careful record of your child’s shots. Although your doctor’s office will also keep track, the person ultimately responsible for keeping track of your child’s immunizations are the parents.
If your child has missed an immunization, you don’t have to go back and start over for most vaccines. The previous immunizations are still good. Pediatric doctor will just resume the immunization schedule. If, for any reason, your child receives additional doses of a vaccine, this is also not a concern, although your child will still need any future doses according to the recommended schedule.
Some parents may hesitate to have their kids vaccinated because they’re worried that the children will have serious reactions or may get the illness the vaccine is supposed to prevent. But because of weakened and killed components of vaccines, they’re unlikely to cause any serious illness.
Immunizations are one of the best means of protection against contagious diseases. Pediatric Associates California, a private pediatric practice in Fresno CA and Madera CA, provides quality immunization service that you can truly trust. To set an appointment, you may call his clinic at (559) 728-4133 (Fresno clinic) or (559) 673-6085 (Madera clinic)