Vaccinations – How Does It Protect My Child
What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear the word vaccination? Dark coloured patch on your shoulders? The process of vaccination was painful in our yesteryears. This is not the situation now with the advancements in the medical field.
Vaccination plays a vital role in shaping the immune system of your child and making his future ready against infections. It is crucial to note that vaccination schedule has to be followed depending upon your child’s age.
In this article, we will discuss in detail the types of vaccination, their administration technique, how vaccination protects your child, most common types of diseases tackled by the vaccines, and their mechanism of the fight against deadly microorganisms. This will hopefully help you understand how important vaccination is for your child.
What are Vaccines?
A vaccine is a biological preparation produced by weakening or killing specific pathogens that then help us improve immunity to a particular disease.
It stimulates the body’s immune system to produce antibodies against that particular pathogen or disease. And these antibodies help in recognizing these pathogens if they enter later on in life into the body and kill them before they can cause the disease. The aim to of vaccination is to prevent or protect against serious diseases, to eliminate a particular disease from a defined population and to eradicate a disease, e.g., Smallpox.
A Vaccine is “Antigenic,” but not “Pathogenic.”
What is Immunization?
Immunization is defined as the process by which the body is prepared to fight against a specific disease. It is used to induce immune resistance in our body to a particular disease. Immunization is of two types:
Passive Immunization: This immunity is produced without testing the body’s immune system. It is done by administering antibodies (gamma globulins) against a specific disease to a non-immune person to help them fight the disease.
Natural immunity is acquired from the mother before and after birth. While in the mother’s womb this is transferred from mother to fetus through umbilical cord in the form of maternal antibodies; and after birth, through breast milk, the antibodies (IgA) are transferred.
Artificial acquired immunity: These antibodies are developed from human and animal serum which are injected or given orally. This type of immunity is useful for immediate protection against acute infection like tetanus.
This immunity is got or acquired by activating the immune system of the body, and the body develops resistance against disease by producing antibodies if exposed to antigens. It is acquired either naturally (by having suffered from the disease once) or artificially (by having taken a vaccine).
Vaccines can administered by different routes:
- Subcutaneous or intramuscular route (most vaccines)
- Scarification, e.g. Smallpox vaccine
- Oral route, e.g. Polio vaccine
- Intranasal route, e.g. Influenza vaccine
- Intradermal route, e.g. BCG vaccines
Vaccine Preventable Diseases:
WHO lists some diseases as life-threatening diseases, which can result in severe complications and even death. Here is a list of diseases that can be prevented with vaccines:
- Haemophilus Influenzae
- Hepatitis B
- Meningococcus (Meningitis)
- Pneumococcal disease
- Whooping Cough
- Chicken Pox
Types of Vaccines:
- Live Vaccines
- Attenuated Live vaccines
- Inactivated (Killed vaccines)
- Polysaccharide and polypeptide (cellular fraction) Vaccines
- Surface antigen (recombinant) Vaccines
How Vaccines Work; Learn How Vaccine Protect Your Child
The diseases that vaccines prevent are deadly and debilitating diseases. Vaccines reduce your child‘s risk of developing infection by working with their body’s natural defense and also helps them develop immunity towards future disease.
Vaccines help to develop immunity towards infection by imitating as an antigen from a bacteria, but this infection does not cause illness. Instead, it facilitates the immune system to develop the same response and produce antibodies as it does to a real infection, so that in future, the body can recognize and fight the same vaccine-preventable disease.
After injecting a vaccine, this pseudo infection can cause minor symptoms, which are normal such as fever and this is expected as the body is building immunity towards the disease.
For best protection, all of us require additional doses of some vaccines, known commonly as booster doses. And also remember, that breast feeding is one of the best sources of natural antibodies that a mother can give a baby. Don’t deny your baby that right.
Vaccinations help in saving money, fewer doctor visits, no hospitalizations, no premature deaths. Children suffering from diseases can also cause parents to lose time from work.
“Prevention is always better than cure”
The most essential step… Stay on Schedule with Your Child’s Vaccine
It is very important to be up-to-date on your baby’s vaccinations. If you think to wait until your child could be exposed to a disease or illness, that time may not be sufficient for the vaccine to work, because some vaccines take a week’s time to produce antibodies and some vaccines need multiple doses to provide the best protection.
It’s important to note that children must receive all doses of the vaccines according to the recommended immunization schedule. If not, the unfortunate child may suffer from severe diseases like polio.
This is the reason why it is important to schedule or note that your child is up to date on his vaccinations. Ask your child’s doctor on every visit if your child is due for any vaccinations. You should follow the vaccination schedule recommended by the Indian Academy of Pediatrics (IAP) and review it regularly.
Vaccines are like supporting staff helping the head coach in running the play effectively. Vaccinations help the immune system to prepare the body to fight against infections. Children are susceptible to many infections as their immune system would be in its nascent stage.
For more information about the vaccination to protect your child life, time and schedule please contact our pediatricians at Premier Hospital, Hyderabad.
About The Hospital:
Since the inception of Premier Hospital in 1991 till today, we have grown to unprecedented levels, due to our excellence in medical sciences and healthcare. Premier Hospital is the creation of Dr Mahesh Marda and when it was first established, was only a small, 30-bed hospital facility. Back then, we provided only secondary care to patients, but that certainly has changed in the present landscape.
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