Childhood Vaccines: Their Purpose, Possible Risks And Other Questions, Answered

LifeStyle & Health

Getting your baby vaccinated has become commonplace in our society today but not a lot of people know exactly why these immunizations are done. Let's take a quick look at some of the questions parents may have and myths that should not be bought into.

Why do we need vaccines?

The emergence of vaccines came about as a way to prevent such illnesses as measles and diphtheria. These conditions were once fatal and led to the loss of lives. However, since vaccines were invented, cases of these diseases have reduced drastically.

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How do they work?

Vaccines help the body prepare to fight illnesses. They usually contain a dead or hidden germ that causes certain diseases. The body learns how to fight these conditions by making antibodies that recognise the germ. The purpose is that if the children are later exposed to such situation, their bodies know exactly how to fight it off without them getting sick. This simply means that vaccines help increase a person's immunity to certain diseases.

Could vaccines cause an illness they are supposed to prevent?

Now, this is one of the most common fears when it comes to vaccines. But experts continue to maintain that getting infected with a disease from a vaccine made with dead bacteria or virus is basically impossible.

However, there are vaccines made from weakened live viruses like the chickenpox (varicella) which may make a child develop a mild form of the disease. But when this happens, it is much less severe and dangerous than if an unvaccinated person was infected. Basically, the risk of getting a disease from vaccination is quite small.

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Is it dangerous for babies to get a lot of vaccines at once?

This is another concern for parents and it makes sense. It can be very troubling watching your child get injected in several places in one visit. However, babies have a pretty strong immune system. In addition, the number of germs in the vaccines they receive is only a tiny percentage of the germs they get exposed to and their immune system deals with on a daily basis.

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There is a possibility that your child may react to the vaccines but the reaction is usually mild, like a fever or a rash. When compared with the health risk of the serious diseases immunizations prevents, it's of way lesser magnitude.

Studies have even shown that such actions as spacing out vaccines may actually lead to more harm. In addition, spacing it out usually means more doctor's visit and ultimately, more shots.

Why does my healthy child need vaccines?

The purpose of vaccines is to prevent diseases. If you wait until they get infected and sick, it will be too late for the vaccines to work.

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What serious reactions can be caused by vaccines?

By far, the most common reactions are mild fever and rashes. However, in very rare cases, immunization may cause serious problems like seizures and severe allergic reactions. If your child is allergic to some medicines of food, it's crucial to let your doctor know.

Do immunizations cause autism?

According to experts, absolutely not. Studies done on the subject has shown no correlation between vaccines and autism. You should know that a 1998 study that claimed that the MMR vaccine caused autism was retracted in 2004 and the doctor who published it lost his medical license.

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If certain diseases no longer exist, do my children still need to be immunized against them?

Even though a disease is rare in your country, they still exist in other parts of the world. A person may still come in contact with them through travel and this include when those from other countries that still battle the conditions come to yours.

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How long does immunity last after getting a vaccine?

It depends on the kind. Some, like that for measles and hepatitis B can keep you immune for your entire life. Others, like tetanus, may require periodic shots for continued protection. It is important to keep a record of the vaccines your child have taken so your doctor knows when they may need a booster.

Having all the information is always necessary if you want to make a decision, especially one that is as serious as this. Fortunately, an unbiased online search based on facts and not conspiracy theories should provide an answer to whatever questions you may have on the topic of immunization.

Source: KidsHealth


This post is solely for informational purposes. It is not intended to provide medical advice. Mambee doesn’t take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading or following the information contained in this post. Before undertaking any course of treatment, the reader should consult with their physician or other health care provider.