There’s been a lot of debate lately about vaccines for kids. What do the shots do? When should my child get them? Are there side effects? Are vaccines really necessary? Your pediatrician in Purchase, NY, wants parents to be fully informed about this preventive medicine technique and how it plays a vital role in your child’s well-being.
Let’s look at these questions one by one, so you have the answers you need.
What Do Vaccines For Kids Do?
Vaccines are lab-prepared formulas delivered via injection to build immunity against contagious diseases. Also called immunizations, vaccines help the body’s immune defenses create extra protection against invading viruses or bacteria, which precipitate acute diseases such as diphtheria, influenza, tetanus, mumps, measles, and more. In essence, vaccines arm the body’s built-in protection with extra weapons against illnesses that cause serious medical complications and even death.
When Should My Child Get Vaccinated?
The vaccination process begins shortly after birth with the first dose of the hepatitis B vaccine. Throughout childhood and adolescence, children then receive shots that protect them against about 14 communicable diseases in all. Most pediatricians in the United States follow the vaccination schedule published by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the American Association of Family Physicians.
These schedules tell what vaccines should be administered, their frequency, and their timing. Your pediatrician in Purchase, NY, usually administers vaccines during in-office annual well-child visits. There are additional “catch-up” schedules for children who are behind on vaccines due to illness or other circumstances.
Are There Side Effects From Childhood Vaccines?
Most kids experience temporary site redness and soreness with their vaccines. Low-grade fevers are common, too. More serious side effects are very rare. Your pediatrician in Purchase, NY, will inform you about expected side effects and about when you should call the doctor’s office in the event of a question about side effects.
There are absolutely no long-term side effects of vaccines – only the huge benefit of lifelong protection against certain diseases.
Are Childhood Vaccines Really Necessary?
The bottom line is, that vaccines really do help protect children and the general population against the deleterious impacts of communicable illnesses. Even kids who, for medical reasons, cannot get shots receive protection when most of the population is vaccinated against communicable diseases. This protection is commonly called herd immunity, and it is a real benefit that most people do not even think about when they vaccinate their children.
Plus, consider this. A child’s immune system does not fully develop until they grow. As such, babies and very young children have no real immunity to a disease beyond that provided by breast milk. So, when kids are unvaccinated, they are open to diseases of all kinds and severities.
BridgeSpan Medicine For Teens and Young Adults
In the Purchase, NY, area, our five experienced pediatricians are passionate about preventive medicine, including fitness, nutrition, vaccines, and more. Our caring team encourages parents to be proactive and stay on schedule with their children’s vaccines. We even keep an accurate record of your child’s shots, so when you need them for school, sports, and more, you have them readily available.