avatar

Importance of childhood vaccinations – preventing spread of

Written by Chronicle Staff. Posted in Featured, Health & Wellness

Published on August 16, 2017 with No Comments

Vaccines protect children from many dangerous diseases.  Today children are exposed to diseases from many sources including child care, shopping centers, schools and even planes while traveling.  Exposure to disease can come from parents, siblings and other family members as well as strangers.  Newborns, babies and toddlers are at the greatest risk.  A child can be exposed to diseases from other countries without the parent ever knowing.

Thanks to vaccines, most diseases that are preventable by immunization are no longer common in this country.  Without these vaccines, the few cases in the U.S. could quickly and easily become hundreds of thousands of cases. When vaccination rates drop, there is potential for outbreaks of measles, chicken pox, whooping cough and other diseases.  Children that are not vaccinated can become ill and spread disease throughout their community.

There are many misconceptions about immunizations.  Scientific studies have found no relationship between vaccines and autism.  The American Academy of Pediatrics and the Institute of Medicine also agree that vaccines are not responsible for the number of children now thought to have autism.  Parents with more questions regarding immunizations and Autism can go to the CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) website, www.cdc.gov/vaccines.

Another misconception is that infants have a “natural immunity” from diseases at birth.  Babies do get some temporary protection from the mom during the last few weeks of pregnancy, but only for the diseases to which the mother is immune.  The newborn infant is left vulnerable to disease because the antibodies do not last long.

The United States currently has the safest, most effective vaccine supply in history.  A vaccine can only be licensed after years of testing.  Vaccines that are in use today are continually monitored for safety.  The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention work to ensure that safe vaccines are made even safer.

In most cases, there are no side effects or an occasional mild reaction, like fever or soreness at the injection site.  In rare instances, there are more serious side effects.  The health care provider should be made aware of any known allergies or health problems prior to administering a vaccine to your child.  Combination vaccines are now available to protect your child against more than one disease with a single shot.  This reduces the number of shots and office visits that your child would need.

Deciding not to immunize your child involves risk.  Unvaccinated children are at risk of contracting very deadly and contagious diseases like measles.  For every 1,000 children who get this disease one or two will die from it.  Due to widespread immunization here, there are few cases of measles in the US today.

Immunizations are an important part of a child’s health and wellness.  More information on this subject is available through the pediatrics department at NorthShore Health Centers.  Appointments can be made by calling 219-763-8112 or, visit www.northshorehealth.com for locations closet to you.

Be Sociable, Share!

Share This Article

About Chronicle Staff

avatar

Browse Archived Articles by

No Comments

There are currently no comments on Importance of childhood vaccinations – preventing spread of. Perhaps you would like to add one of your own?

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.