How Vaccines Affect Your Child’s Health

Vaccines benefit in protecting kids against the barrage of pathogens they’ll encounter every day.

The more we know about vaccines, the healthier our children will be. Here are some of the answers to the questions surrounding immunizations.

Why it’s important to vaccinate children

Immunizations save between 2 to 3 million deaths every year globally and keep our children and us safe.
Vaccines are the main reasons global child mortality has plunged since 1990.

Although India is a leading exporter and producer of vaccines, it homes one-third of the world’s unvaccinated children.

Less than 44% of young Indian children receive adequate immunizations; this deficiency has several causes:

  • A small investment by the authorities.
  • Only focus on polio elimination at the cost of other vaccines.
  • Low demand as a result of an inadequately educated community and the ubiquity of anti-vaccine advocacy.

An approximated 1.5 million children still die each year from readily preventable conditions around the world.

Another reason for the lack of immunization arises from poverty. However, increasingly it arises from parents’ deliberate decision of not immunizing their children.

Dawdling or declining immunization has led to outbreaks of vaccine-preventable illnesses like measles. Whooping cough may imperil public health, especially for under-immunized people or those who have never got vaccinated.

But vaccines aren’t only for kids—they’re just as necessary now as they were when science implicitly extirpated diseases like polio.

Both children and adults should stay up to date on their vaccinations.
Vaccination is the best way to control influenza and common flu.

This infectious respiratory illness can cause severe problems for your health, especially for people with high-risk factors:

  • People 65 years and older
  • People with specific medical ailments such as diabetes, asthma, or heart disease.
  • Young children
  • Women undergoing pregnancy

How many shots do children need?

Although vaccines are given in a combination to reduce the needed shot numbers, still the list is lengthy.
Here is a typical vaccination schedule suggested by age 2:

  • 1 for mumps, measles, and rubella (MMR)
  • 4 for Hib (Haemophilus influenzae)
  • 3-4 for polio (IPV)
  • 4 for diphtheria, pertussis, and tetanus (DPT)
  • 3 for hepatitis B
  • One vaccination for chickenpox (must be verified by the doctor)
  • 3 for rotavirus (an infection that provokes severe diarrhea)
  • 4 for pneumococcal disease (a common cause of pneumonia and ear infections )

Your child will require booster vaccines for MMR, DPT, IPV, and chickenpox from age 4 to 6. Children after age six months should also receive an annual flu shot.

Immunization for hepatitis A is advised for all children. The above information is hard to keep a record of; that’s why you need immunization forms.

Are vaccines safe for kids?

Much of the fear of not getting your children immunized comes from false reports & conspiracy theories that some vaccines can have ill effects on the children and cause autism, seizures, brain damage, or multiple sclerosis.

Some other rumors say that vaccines are too unpredictable & unreliable to provide any benefit.
These claims are not based on the facts and create plenty of fear among already concerned parents.

Several experts have authenticated again and again that today’s advanced vaccines are safer than ever. The most significant risks come when children are not immunized.

When adults decline to get vaccinated and prevent their children, they’re putting others at risk.

Vaccination aids in the prevention of diseases from spreading to unprotected or vulnerable people, such as:

  • Babies too young for vaccinations
  • Unimmunized children and adults
  • Women undergoing pregnancy
  • Elderly people
  • People with weak immune systems
  • People with allergies towards vaccine components

Final tips on immunizations

This information will help your child’s vaccination go more easily:

  • Common vaccine side effects include infection at the injection site, fever, and soreness. You don’t get much concerned over them; discuss with your doctor for more clarity.
  • Make sure if your doctor keeps an immunization registry. It provides a resource that you can go back to if your immunization records get lost.
  • It would be best if your doctor has a vaccination reminder or recall system. This will help recall when vaccinations are due and warn you if a vaccine has been missed.
  • Always carry the vaccination record with you during your visits to the vaccination center and make sure there is a doctor’s sign and date.

Vaccines are the most effective and safe medicines we have today, and they have made many dangerous diseases that affect children rare today.

Content Reviewed by – Asian Hospital Medical Editors