Preventable childhood diseases have decreased in frequency since the existence of vaccines, around 1800s. Some 116 million newborns and infants worldwide received at least three vaccine doses during 2019 to protect them from infectious diseases that could cause serious illness, disability, or even death, according to WHO.
A vaccine is a chemical substance composed of essential elements to generate immunity; this immunity is called acquired immunity and is the main one in stimulating the immune system to act against diseases such as diphtheria, measles, or chickenpox.
Unfortunately, in recent years, misinformation and myths have been spread that have discouraged parents from vaccinating their children. Our goal is to inform you about the benefits and risks of vaccines so that you can forget about these false beliefs; so your child is not exposed to dangerous viruses or bacteria.
What is vaccination and immunization?
When we vaccinate ourselves, we are allowing our organism to recognize components of virus or bacteria; so that it can react effectively in a new exposure opportunity. Immunity is obtained through vaccination, so immunization is the benefit of vaccination.
How are vaccines administered?
Most are given by injection, while others may be given orally (taken) or by nebulization. At Pediatrics of Sugar Land, we have trained specialists who know how to choose the right route of administration for each child.
Why is it important to get immunized?
The immune system is the only essential tool that protects us from any external aggression, be it from germs or direct damage. When we vaccinate ourselves, we help our system act faster and recognize external pathogens easily.
Immunization also helps us produce antibodies, which are the major components in the course of the immune response.
Immunization not only allows our bodies to be in better condition but also protects us from dangerous diseases such as meningitis or pneumonia and protects those around us by preventing us from infecting them.
When is the right time to immunizing my child?
The Immunization should start at birth, be completed during childhood, teenage years, and adulthood.
Children must be vaccinated as early as possible because there are typical infectious during each stage of life; the influenza virus is the common one when children start school but also is necessary to comply with the HPV schedule once sexual encounters begin in teenagers.
I haven’t immunized my child. Is it too late to do so?
It is never too late to start the immunization schedule, except for some vaccines which best started in childhood. However, the pediatric experts at Sugar Land strongly recommend starting immunization as soon as possible, so don’t wait any longer and make an appointment with us, so you’ll know how and when to start the vaccination program.
Does the immunization pose a risk to my child?
No. On the opposite, immunizing ourselves is the best way to take care of our body. Some vaccines can cause mild and short-term side effects due to the stimulation of the immune response. Among them are known:
Redness or pain at the injection area (when injected)
Mild transitory increase in body temperature.
Discomfort in the injected arm that usually improves in a day or two.
The benefits of getting immunized outweigh the discomfort this procedure can cause. Vaccinating your child is not only an act of love for him/her but also protects you and those around you. Consult with our Sugar Land specialists on how to start the vaccination scheme as soon as possible.