Childhood Vaccinations – There are numerous misconceptions about the benefits of childhood vaccines. It’s a myth that they don’t work, or cause Autism, or give your child a disease. In fact, there is no sign to suggest any of these things! Vaccines have been around for close to 200 years and have saved millions of lives. The truth is that not vaccinating puts children at risk for diseases such as polio and measles, which can be fatal in some cases. Find out why you should vaccinate your child today!
What are Vaccines?
A vaccine is an injection of either dead or attenuated (weakened) viruses that don’t cause the disease it is meant to prevent. When a child is injected with this, their immune system recognizes these as invaders and responds by producing antibodies in contradiction of the virus so that if your child were to catch it later in life, they would have a robust immune response and recover from the infection quickly.
Do Vaccines cause Autism?
This is a common myth that many parents think. A study done in 1998 claimed to show a link between Autism and vaccines, but the original author later retracted the claims, and scientific consensus is now against any such connection. The paper has been officially declared as containing falsified data, with the reason for retraction being ethical concerns surrounding how the research participants were recruited (by anti-vaccine campaigners). This whole scandal has been called “The Lancet Scandal.”
Do they work? Absolutely!
While some vaccines need to be administered again after around ten years because immunity is lost when we aren’t constantly finding ourselves in contact with these viruses, most give your child somewhere between 70 and 90+% immunity for life against that disease. This means that they can go about their daily lives without having to worry about catching a potentially deadly illness.
Why Vaccinate Childhood Vaccinations?
There are many reasons why you should be getting your child vaccinated, including: – None of the common fears around vaccines have been shown to be confirmed through scientific research – By vaccinating, you ensure herd immunity is reached, which also protects those who cannot be vaccinated due to medical reasons or those too young to receive vaccinations – To save yourself the heartache of your child contracting a deadly illness – Your child will be protected for life from a variety of diseases and is less likely to spread the disease – Less chance of your child getting sick, and when they do, a much shorter illness that is far less severe than if unvaccinated.
So what shouldn’t I vaccinate for?
There are very rare reasons why you shouldn’t vaccinate. Some parents worry about their child having an allergic reaction, but this is incredibly rare (less than 1/100000). You would be more probable to win the lottery than have your child have a severe adverse effect from a vaccine. The other small concern that many parents have is that vaccinations overload a young immune system – however, science has shown through numerous studies that this theory does not stand up to scrutiny. There are even benefits for children to be exposed to a number of different bacteria as this is what helps strengthen their immune system!
Vaccination Schedule: The When and Where
The complete vaccination schedule in India can be found here, but generally, vaccinations are given to children when they are: – 2 months old (BCG) – 3 months old (OPV) – 4 months old (HepB) – 6 months old (DTP-HepB-HiB) – 9 months old (DPT-HepB-HiB) – 12 months old (MMR) – 18 months old (Varicella vaccine if not already delivered by this age through the chickenpox infection, given after MMR so that there is no risk of “shedding” the live virus from MMR into the child’s body with Varicella being more likely to cause complications in immunosuppressed people). If your baby has not had chickenpox by this age, the vaccine can be given at any time after nine months old. You can visit ImmunifyMe.com for digitized vaccination records and reminders, which is a convenient and a smart way to keep track of all your child’s vaccinations.
It is recommended that you discuss with your paediatrician about which vaccines are appropriate for your child and their individual health needs so they can recommend the best schedule for them.
What to expect from the Doctor
Your Doctor will most likely go over each mandatory vaccination with you and discuss why it is important. In addition, they may recommend some other vaccines for your child depending on their age, location, climate conditions, health status, etc.
– Hepatitis A vaccine may be recommended after six months old or if traveling to regions where hepatitis A is common – Hib vaccine not included in the mandatory vaccinations given at nine months but may be recommended if attending day-cares or staying with other children in close proximity – Meningococcal ACWY vaccine may be recommended if the child has a suppressed immune system or attends boarding school.
Your doctor will give you specific instructions about when your child should receive each vaccination and what they should avoid around that time. Some vaccines are a pre-requisite before your child can attend public schools/daycares/nurseries, as stated by your state’s laws.
Conclusion on Childhood Vaccinations
You must ensure your child has had all their vaccinations on time to help them be protected against the full spectrum of life-threatening conditions they could encounter growing up, whether that be due to lack of education, poverty, or simply geographical location. Vaccinations are one of the most successful medical advancements of our time, and there is no reason not to vaccinate your children!