HomeHealthChildhood Vaccines: What They Are and Why Your Child Needs Them

Childhood Vaccines: What They Are and Why Your Child Needs Them




A vaccination is a medical medication that is used to prevent certain illnesses. These are infections-caused illnesses that transmit from person to person. Vaccines include weakened forms of the pathogen or variants that look similar to it. The majority of immunizations are administered during infancy. Childhood immunizations or childhood vaccines assist your child’s body in developing immunity to the disease if and when they are exposed to it.

Vaccines are critical. They not only keep your kid healthy, but they also assist all children by minimizing illness transmission and perhaps eradicating deadly childhood ailments.

childhood vaccines

Path to improved health

Certain scenarios, such as travel and school attendance, necessitate the use of childhood vaccines. In addition, many individuals have broader questions concerning vaccinations, such as:

  • When should my child be vaccinated?

Recommendations about when to vaccinate your child alter from time to time. The American Academy of Family Physicians and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) can provide you with the most recent child and adolescent immunization regimens. You can also consult your primary care physician. Your child will normally receive their first immunization shortly after birth.

  • Are there any reasons my child should not be vaccinated?

Children should not be vaccinated in certain circumstances. Some vaccinations, for example, should not be administered to children who have specific forms of cancer or disorders. Vaccines should not be administered to children who are taking medications that reduce the body’s capacity to fight illness.

If your kid experienced a severe response to the first shot in a series, consult with your family doctor about the benefits and risks of giving your child the other doses in the series.

  • Do vaccines have side effects?

Some immunizations may produce minor, transient side effects. This includes symptoms such as fever, discomfort, or a lump where the vaccination injection was administered. Your family doctor will discuss the potential side effects of various immunizations with you.

If you have any concerns about whether your kid should receive a vaccination, consult with your doctor.

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What is the flu vaccine (also called the influenza vaccine)?

This vaccination is offered in the form of an injection or a nasal spray. The nasal spray vaccination contains live viruses that have been attenuated. The flu shot or nasal spray vaccination will not give you the flu. The flu vaccination is normally administered during the start of the flu season, around October or November.

The flu vaccine is safe for children 6 months and older. The nasal spray vaccination is suitable for children aged 2 and above. The flu virus evolves from year to year. It is critical that your child receive the vaccination every year in order to be protected. Children are more prone to experience flu complications, such as hospitalization or even death.

What is the DTaP vaccine?

This is three immunizations in one injection. Diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis are all prevented. It is delivered in five shots. The first is administered when your child is two months old. The last is given when they are between the ages of four and six. Diphtheria affects both the throat and the heart. It has the potential to cause cardiac failure and death. Tetanus is often known as “lockjaw.” It can cause severe muscular spasms and even death. Pertussis (sometimes known as “whooping cough”) produces violent coughing. It makes breathing, eating, and drinking difficult. It has the potential to cause pneumonia, seizures, brain damage, and death. The DTaP vaccination protects your child from these illnesses for around ten years. Tdap vaccine is a booster for the DTaP vaccination. Tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis are all prevented. It is administered to children aged 11 and up.

What is the rotavirus vaccine?

The vaccination protects against the rotavirus virus. A dosage is given to children at the ages of 2 and 4 months, followed by a three-dose series at the ages of 2, 4, and 6 months. It all depends on what your doctor says. All doses should be administered before the child reaches the age of eight months. Rotavirus causes diarrhea, which is most common in newborns and young children. The diarrhea can be severe and dehydrating, necessitating hospitalization. In newborns, rotavirus can also induce vomiting and fever.

Call your family doctor if your kid experiences stomach discomfort with strong weeping (which may be short), vomiting, blood in the stool, or appears weak or irritable following rotavirus immunization. This is especially critical in the first seven days following rotavirus immunization. If your kid exhibits any of these symptoms, even if it has been several weeks after the last dose of vaccination, contact your doctor.

What is the IPV vaccine?

The IPV (inactivated poliovirus) vaccination aids in the prevention of polio. From the age of 2 months to 6 years, it is administered four times as a shot. Polio can result in muscular soreness as well as paralysis of one or both legs or arms. It may also paralyze the muscles responsible for breathing and swallowing. It has the potential to be fatal.

What is the MMR vaccine?

The MMR vaccination provides protection against measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR). It is administered in two doses, one when your child is one year old and again when they are four to six years old.

Measles symptoms include fever, rash, cough, runny nose, and watery eyes. It is also capable of causing ear infections and pneumonia. Measles can potentially cause significant complications such as brain enlargement and even death.

Mumps is characterized by fever, headache, and severe enlargement of one or both of the main salivary glands. Mumps can cause meningitis (infection of the brain and spinal cord coverings) and, in rare cases, brain swelling. It can occasionally cause the testicles of boys or men to enlarge, rendering them unable to have offspring.

Rubella is sometimes known as German measles. It produces a mild fever, a rash, and enlargement of the neck glands. Rubella can potentially induce brain swelling or bleeding problems.

If a pregnant woman contracts rubella, she may lose her baby or have a baby that is blind, deaf, or has difficulty learning.

Some people believe the MMR vaccination causes autism. However, studies have shown no relationship between autism and childhood immunizations.

What is the Hib vaccine?

The Hib vaccination aids in the prevention of Haemophilus influenza type b, which is a significant cause of severe disease in children. It has the potential to cause meningitis, pneumonia, and a serious throat infection. From the age of 2 months to 15 months, the Hib vaccination is administered in a series of three or four doses.

What is the varicella vaccine?

The varicella vaccination aids in the prevention of chickenpox. It is given to children when they are 12 months old and again when they are 4 to 6 years old, or to older children who have never had chickenpox or been vaccinated.

What is the HBV vaccine?

The HBV vaccination aids in the prevention of hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection, a liver infection that can lead to liver cancer and death. The vaccination is administered in three doses, the first of which is administered shortly after delivery.

What is the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine?

The pneumococcal conjugate vaccination (PCV) protects against germs that cause ear infections and pneumonia. This kind of bacterium can potentially cause more serious infections including meningitis and bacteremia (bloodstream infection). Infants and toddlers receive four doses of the vaccine at the ages of two, four, six, and twelve months. The vaccination can also be given to older children who are at risk of contracting pneumococcal disease.

What is the meningococcal conjugate vaccine?

The meningococcal conjugate vaccination (MCV4) protects against four strains (“types”) of bacterial meningitis produced by N. meningitidis bacteria. Bacterial meningitis is an infection of the brain and spinal cord fluid. It is a severe sickness that might result in a high temperature, headache, stiff neck, and disorientation. It can potentially result in more significant consequences including brain damage, hearing loss, or blindness.

The MCV4 vaccination should be administered to children between the ages of 11 and 12. Children over the age of 12 who have not got the immunization should do so before beginning high school.

What is the HPV vaccine?

The HPV vaccination aids in the prevention of human papillomavirus infection, which can lead to cervical cancer, anal cancer, head and neck cancer, and genital warts. If administered around the age of 11 or 12, it is delivered as a two-shot series. The second dosage is administered six months later. Children who begin the vaccination on or after their 15th birthday require three injections spread out over six months.

What is the COVID-19 vaccine?

The COVID-19 vaccinations from Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna are accessible for children aged 6 months and above. They are intended to lessen the severity of disease, hospitalization, and mortality caused by the COVID-19 virus. The vaccination may limit viral transmission, but it does not guarantee that a youngster will not contract it. While it is not necessary for school attendance, the immunization has been recommended by the American Academy of Family Physicians. The Academy believes that it will aid in the prevention of COVID-19 infection in this age range. It will also aid children’s emotional and social development by eliminating the need for future school closures, disruptions, and quarantine periods. It will also allow sports, after-school events, and other school-related activities to go place without the risk and concern associated with the virus.

Things to consider

Vaccines are typically considered safe. The benefits of vaccination significantly outweigh the slight chance of serious adverse effects. Many deadly pediatric ailments are now rare thanks to immunizations. Without immunizations, illnesses can resurface and affect a huge number of people. In 2019, for example, there was a measles outbreak. Measles is a dangerous disease that can cause complications and even death. Measles cases were quite low prior to the present epidemic. The majority of cases in the 2019 epidemic, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), were among persons who did not have a measles vaccination.

Questions to ask your doctor

  • How likely is it my child would get sick without getting the vaccines?
  • How can I protect my newborn from being exposed to another child who hasn’t been vaccinated?
  • Why do people believe vaccinations cause autism?
  • Can my child have an allergic reaction after a vaccine?
  • Should my child wear a mask in public to avoid COVID-19 even if they are vaccinated?

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