What you should know about immunizations for your child?
Childhood immunization is the best defense to protect your child against common illnesses after birth. The vaccinations given to infants and children up to their late teenage years can provide a lifetime of support and a reduced risk of contracting the most severe forms of paralyzing and fatal diseases.
Furthermore, immunization programs can develop herd immunity, where they can help other children in their community who can’t get vaccinated. Having said this, many parents still get concerned about immunization and the possible adverse outcomes that could come with it.
The best way a mom like you can tackle vaccine fears and hesitancy is to keep in touch with your child’s doctor and stay informed with medical facts.
For that purpose, here’s what you should know about immunization for your child.
Childhood immunizations are designed for the bodies of children and infants to withstand. Babies are also already exposed to many germs after birth, so their immune systems can more than handle the volume of doses for the vaccine schedule. Therefore, vaccines are safe for children and are unlikely to cause the disease they’re trying to prevent.
In addition, vaccines contain a killed, weakened, or small subsection of a virus or bacteria. They have also undergone rigorous clinical trials and testing for years and even decades before they’re approved to ensure their safety and effectiveness.
The risks involved with vaccines can be mild and temporary side effects or a rare long-lasting shoulder injury after administration. In this situation, you can research legal options to find out how long do SIRVA cases take to settle. and seek compensation.
Types of vaccines
There are several types of vaccines that are administered to children. Each is created and classified according to the virus or bacteria your child’s immune system needs to be trained to fight off and prevent the disease they can cause. These include the main categories such as:
- Inactive vaccines- these are vaccines created by using the killed-off germ or bacteria. They usually require more doses over time since they don’t provide long-term immunity.
- Attenuated or Weakened vaccines– considered the most effective type of vaccine, it contains a live yet weakened version of a virus and can provide a lifetime of immunity after a few doses.
- Toxoid Vaccines- these vaccines use an inactive toxin contained in part of the virus or bacteria that causes disease. It trains your child’s immune system to kill off that particular toxin.
- Conjugate Vaccines- these are part of a larger class of vaccines that uses elements of the virus or bacteria, such as the protein, sugars, or outer casing, to create a strong immune defense.
- mRNA Vaccines- this is where a virus or bacteria’s genetic material is used for targeting. The immune response is triggered when cells learn to make a copy of protein and fight against it.
- Viral Vector Vaccines- these vaccines use a modified version of a different virus called a vector. It instructs the immune system to create antigens that can fight the virus.
The different types of vaccines can bolster your child’s immunity, support healthy development and protect them from fatal or disabling diseases throughout their life. Many of these diseases, such as polio, measles, and diphtheria, that were once common among kids have practically been eradicated by childhood immunization programs.
Vaccine schedules are the recommended and sometimes compulsory doses, vaccines, and the timing your child needs to get their shot. It’s scheduled according to age and begins with immunizing against potential diseases your baby could get exposed to from birth to about 18 years old.
Most general schedules begin about 12-24 hours after a baby’s born, and some 2nd and third doses are administered while starting 1st doses of other vaccines. Furthermore, vaccines can be planned according to catch-up intervals in case there’s a need for a delay or a medical condition where vaccines are administered. That is if the vaccine’s benefit outweighs the risk of causing an adverse side effect.
Possible side effects
The most common side effects of vaccines for babies and children are mild discomfort, redness, and swelling at the site where the injection was inserted. Your child may develop a low-grade fever, which is a normal immune response to getting a vaccine.
Typically, these side effects can last up to a few days and can be treated with rest, hydration, and temperature control until it wears off. Furthermore, the MMR vaccine for measles, mumps, and rubella can cause a mild rash and swollen cheeks that can clear up after several days. You can contact your pediatric doctor if the side effects cause you concern or to find out about health situations where the MMR vaccine should be delayed or avoided.
The most important information to know about immunizations for your child is that vaccines are safe and necessary to safeguard against diseases. Several types of vaccines are scheduled at different ages to train immune systems to fight off key aspects of viruses and bacteria.
Side effects of vaccines are common and may go away after some time. As for the few exceptions where reactions are adverse, doctors are prepared to take action and advise on how to proceed. Nonetheless, medical scientists agree that immunization is an indispensable part of every child’s long-term healthcare.
Emma Lowery is a health writer and wellness guru with a passion for making medical knowledge less intimidating to the everyday woman. She is passionate about health and fitness, as well as nutritious food. She is a mom of three young daughters and a loving wife.