The Importance of Childhood Vaccines
Over the last five decades, vaccines have nearly wiped out major viral diseases like measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR). Today, once deadly diseases like polio, diphtheria, and smallpox are virtually unheard of, and cases of MMR are extremely rare. Though good sanitation and clean drinking water go a long way in helping to stop disease, bacteria and viruses still exist in industrialized countries like the United States, making vaccination vital. Get the facts on childhood vaccinations and why your child needs them.
What is a vaccine and why does your child need them?
Vaccines are weakened versions of common viruses that cannot produce disease. They provide protection against viruses by helping your child’s immune system recognize the virus and create the right antibodies to fight it if your child is exposed in the future. Vaccines not only protect your child, they also protect others around them who have weakened immune systems.
Important immunizations for your child
Parents may choose additional vaccinations at the advice of their healthcare provider. However, in general, childhood vaccinations keep your kids safe from these 14 major diseases.
- Whooping cough
- Hepatitis A and B
Immunizations can save your child’s life
Immunizations protect your child against diseases that once seriously injured or killed thousands of children every year. Polio serves as one of the best examples of disease eradication. Caused by the poliovirus, polio is a crippling and sometimes deadly infectious disease that causes nerve injury leading to paralysis. In the past, polio affected many children worldwide. Today, thanks to vaccines, there are no reports of polio in the U.S.
Vaccines protect your community
When you vaccinate your child, you protect those around them. Some individuals have compromised immune systems that prevent them from being immunized, others may have allergies or other reasons they can’t get vaccines. You protect those in your community who are not fully vaccinated by immunizing your child to prevent the spread of disease to others in your community.
Are there reasons I should skip vaccinating my child?
Dr. Lubega will speak with you about the reasons your child shouldn’t be vaccinated. There are special circumstances in which vaccines pose a risk. For example, if your child has had a serious allergic reaction to a certain round of vaccines, another round poses a serious risk of a repeat reaction. There are also reasons where Dr. Lubega may recommend delaying your child’s vaccination. For instance, if your child currently has a moderate-to-severe illness, you may need to wait until they get better before getting the recommended vaccines.
Immunizations are safe and effective
Vaccines are thoroughly studied and carefully reviewed by doctors and scientists to ensure their safety. Getting your child immunized is the most effective way to prevent the spread of childhood diseases. Comprehensive studies have found that vaccines are safe for your child and not linked to serious health problems. Discuss it with Dr. Lubega if you have any concerns about vaccinating your child.
Learn more about the recommended vaccine schedule
Immunizations are the best way to keep our children and community safe. For more information about recommended, age-appropriate vaccines, stop in to see Dr. Margaret Lubega and the team at First Pediatric Care Center. Scheduling an appointment is easy. Call our Gastonia, North Carolina office or book online.