Parents will always want the best for their children, especially when it comes to their health. One of the easiest and safest ways to ensure your child stays healthy is by vaccinating them. While childhood vaccination is not new to good pediatric care, it’s natural for parents to be a little hesitant about them. So, to help alleviate those fears, we’ve listed the top frequently asked questions about vaccines for children so you can make the best decisions for your family.
1. Why Should Children Get Vaccinated?
It is much easier to prevent a disease than to treat it after it develops. Vaccines are effective, safe, and save lives. They can prevent serious illnesses that were once deadly to children and adults alike. Even if there are vaccines for conditions not currently spreading in your community, it is still better to receive the vaccine than not to. Diseases can start and spread from anywhere.
2. Are Vaccines Safe for Children?
Vaccines are safe for children. Before vaccinations are made available to the public, they undergo rigorous testing and clinical studies to ensure efficacy and safety.
Once the vaccine is approved for use, several federal government agencies monitor its use and investigate potential safety concerns. These institutions include the following:
- S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
- Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
- National Institutes for Health (NIH)
Your child may experience zero to mild symptoms after vaccination. These include:
- Body aches
- Redness, tenderness, or swelling around the vaccination site
These mild symptoms will go away on their own after a few days. Long-lasting and severe side effects are extremely rare.
3. What Ingredients Do Vaccines Contain?
Everything that’s in a vaccine works to protect the body from disease. These substances provide immunity and ensure the product’s safety.
According to the CDC, vaccine ingredients may include:
- Adjuvants boost the body’s immune response after vaccination
- Stabilizers to maintain the vaccine’s effectivity
- Residual inactive ingredients kill toxins or viruses that may occur during the manufacturing process
- Residual cell culture materials to grow enough bacteria to make the vaccine
- Residual antibiotics to prevent contamination by bacteria during the manufacturing process
- Preservatives to prevent contamination
4. How Do Vaccines Work?
Different vaccines offer varying types of protection – but all have the same purpose: they stimulate the body’s natural immune system defenses.
After receiving a vaccine, the immune system will react by producing the necessary antibodies. These proteins help fight disease-causing bacteria and viruses.
Then, if your child sustains exposure to the same virus, their immune system will already know how to react. It typically takes a few weeks to build this protection.
Your child’s doctor may recommend a booster shot months or years after the initial vaccine. The role of this secondary shot is to “remind” the immune system how to fight against the disease.
5. How Many Vaccines Should Children Receive?
Childhood vaccination starts within the first few months of infancy. Your child may receive up to 10 vaccines by the time they are 15 months old. This number will likely increase as other vaccinations become suitable for their age.
Your child’s schedule will depend on your pediatrician’s recommendations and the childhood immunization guide from the CDC, and whether your child has a chronic condition or a weakened immune system that requires certain types of immunizations.
Ask your healthcare provider for an immunization tracking card. This can help ensure your child gets all the shots they need.
Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine in Purchase, NY
Thanks to modern science and technology, protecting your child against infectious diseases is possible, easier, and more effective than ever when your child is vaccinated.
The medical providers and staff here at BridgeSpan Medicine provide quality healthcare for children, teens, and young adult patients. We provide compassionate, high-quality expertise for various standard and specialized medical needs. Our facilities also offer a wide range of services, from respiratory care and mental health services to lab testing and immunization. You can trust our board-certified pediatric specialists when it comes to medical care for your kids.
Our friendly staff welcomes your call for more inquiries on adolescent and young adult medical services. Call BridgeSpan Medicine today at (914) 698-5544. You can also schedule an appointment using our online form at your convenience.
We look forward to serving you!