Vaccines for children confer immunity against infectious diseases and their possible complications, including disability and death. Over the past several decades, many children’s vaccines have been developed and are routinely administered at pediatric clinics throughout the country.
Let’s talk about vaccines, how to know which ones your kids need, and where you can find the best pediatric clinic in Purchase, NY.
How Do Vaccines for Kids Work?
Vaccines are true medical breakthroughs. Injected in minute amounts, these medications contain disease-producing viruses or bacteria which activate the child’s immune system. The natural defense against disease, the immune system produces antibodies that attack microbes and their harmful effects.
Vaccines are made from live bacteria or viruses, weakened forms of these microbes, pieces of the germ’s own genetic material, or even from toxins the germs produce. These shots may be administered once or in a series. Or, vaccines may need to be renewed annually or within another time frame.
In general, children have no adverse effects from receiving vaccines. However, low-grade fevers, fussiness in babies, and local injection site soreness are fairly common and resolve rapidly.
Also, when administered to a large segment of the population, vaccines for children confer something called herd immunity. Herd immunity means that the more individuals are vaccinated, the more unvaccinated individuals are protected. Sadly, some children–and adults, too–cannot receive these beneficial medications because they are medically fragile due to cancer treatment or other health problems.
How Does My Pediatrician Know Which Vaccines, My Child Needs?
Your pediatrician follows the vaccination schedule set forth by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). Three basic schedules tell which vaccines are given, how many doses, and at what time.
These three schedules include:
- Birth to 15 months
- 18 months to 18 years
- Catch-up schedule (for those who are behind in receiving their immunizations)
If you view the schedules, don’t be intimidated. There are many more vaccines than when you were a child, and your pediatrician will guide you and your child through the process and answer any questions.
Recommended vaccines guard your child against sicknesses, such as hepatitis, pneumonia, HPV infection, chickenpox, influenza, polio, and many more. Plus, your children’s doctor knows the latest recommendations for vaccinations against COVID-19 illness.
The Right Vaccines for Kids at the Right Time in Purchase, NY
At BridgeSpan Medicine in Purchase, NY, our five board-certified pediatricians help parents understand what vaccines are, their long-term benefits and possible side effects, and how immunization schedules work. They administer these medications during wellness visits and, as needed, catch up with children who fall behind on their vaccines for various reasons.
If you wish to learn more about the right vaccines for your kids, please call our pediatric at (914) 698-5544. We’re here to help parents care for their children in the most efficient and compassionate ways possible. You can request an appointment with one of our providers online if you prefer.