Why are vaccines important?
Vaccines play an important role in the health of infants and children. The diseases that vaccines prevent are dangerous and can even lead to death. In fact, vaccines help prevent a total of 14 diseases before a child even turns two!
Since an infant or child’s immune system is weak, they are at more risk for getting sick. It is important to remember that preventable diseases, such as measles and whooping cough, are still around us and that children can still get them if they are not vaccinated.
How do vaccines work?
A vaccine acts like an infection in your body. The medicine that is given does not cause illness and is vital in making sure your child’s immune system can build enough antibodies. Antibodies are important in helping your body fight off disease if you happen to become exposed.
Think of it like this. You wouldn’t sign up for a marathon without training, right? Vaccines work in a similar way! Your body needs to “practice” and “train” for when a disease enters the body.
Are vaccines safe? What about side effects?
Vaccines are extremely safe and effective as they have helped stop millions of cases of infant and child disability and death caused by preventable diseases. The vaccines go through a series of testing and monitoring in a lab to ensure safety and effectiveness.
As with any other medicine, side effects do happen. The most common side effects are low-grade fever, fussiness, and a mild rash. Please contact your doctor if you become worried about a reaction your child may be having to the injection.
Talk with your family doctor to make sure you and your family are protected.