Being a parent can be considered the biggest joy of one’s life. But taking care of your child is not an easy feat. It requires making critical and timely decisions to protect your child from internal and external threats. Baby proofing your house, switching to mounted and wall cabinets so that baby does not reach harmful objects, and swapping to a booster seat are just the tip of the iceberg. You also must protect your child from invisible threats that can attack stealthily. An infectious disease is one such threat that can attack your child without you knowing about it or without making itself visible.
How can parents fight infectious diseases?
Vaccinations are used for fighting illnesses that have been hurting or killing kids for a long time. To respond to these threats, medical science has developed these vaccines for developing immunity in kids from the time of their birth to fight such illnesses. Without these vaccines, your baby is at the risk of getting diseases like measles, smallpox, mumps, whooping cough, etc.
According to UNICEF, some 45% of the kids under five have been reached with vaccination. But, simultaneously, it is also remarked that not all kids who must be vaccinated receive the vaccination. WHO facts state that, in 2020, about 23 million children under the age of one could not get vaccinated. What could be the reasons? Among the logistical and accessibility issues, mistrust about vaccination is prevalent too. So, here are some questions about vaccinations for your awareness.
- What is a vaccine?
To know what vaccines are, you must be aware of theimmunization meaning; only then can you understand a vaccine. Immunization ishow a person is made resistant or immune to an infectious disease. Vaccinations are products you give to your child in their childhood at regular intervals to build immunization against infectious diseases. Vaccines boost the natural defense system of your baby’s body, making it more effective in its fight against infections.
- How does a vaccine work?
Vaccines are composed of a weakened form of virus or bacterium responsible for causing diseases, orthey can also contain a small part of the actual virus or bacterium. When you inject a vaccine into someone’s body, their natural defense mechanism comes into action. It produces antibodies to fight off the infection and eradicate the disease. This way body has the antibodies to fight off the disease if it comes full force the next time. In the event of an attack, the body recognizes the infection and uses the already present antibodies to kill the infection.
- Are you not giving too many vaccines to the baby?
Some people are often concerned about the number of vaccines injected into their baby right after birth. For them, it is important to know that after the baby’s birth, it faces many immunity challenges. Basically, babies do not need to fight any bacteria or viruses when in the mother’s womb. So when they are born, they might get attacked by a host of viruses and bacteria. The bacteria start to live in the intestines. By providing them with the right vaccines, you can develop their body’s natural strength to fight off these bacteria and prevent them from entering the bloodstream.
- Are vaccines safe for the child?
Vaccinations are absolutely safe for children. Your baby is more prone to getting hurt by a vaccine-preventable disease than by the vaccine itself. No single vaccine comes to the public without going through a rigorous process of testing and trials. There are clinical trials too. Once they are approved through all the testing methods, only then do vaccines reach you and your baby. This is why vaccine development generally takes years.
- Do vaccines cause autism?
No evidence corroborates that vaccines cause autism. About a dozen studies have been conducted globally for this purpose, and not a single has been able to develop a connection between vaccination and autism. In fact, the original study that claimed to find a feeble relationship between the two entities has already been retracted by the publication upon discovering that the author, Dr. Andrew Wakefield lied about his funding.
- Why don’t vaccinesclaim 100% effectiveness?
Vaccinations develop a natural immunity that will protect the body when the disease attacks the person in the future. But not all people develop the same immunity and fight mechanism due to a vaccine. It is possible that a vaccine only feebly preparesa person for a future disease attack. So, when a generalized calculation is made about the vaccine’s effectiveness, all cases are taken into consideration.
That being said, most vaccines are able to develop the required immunity in a person. 99.7% of the people injected with two doses of Measles, Mumps, and Rubella vaccine develop immunity against the diseases. Similarly, the polio vaccine offers 99% immunity after receiving three doses, and varicella is 100% effective in preventing a moderate and severe chickenpox attack.
- Can a child get a vaccine during illness?
There are many situations where an immunization drive might not be suitable for your child. But if your child has a mild cough and flu, there is no harm in giving the vaccination. In instances of high fever, it is better to hold the vaccination until your child feels better. In any case, if you are troubled about your child’s condition and have second thoughts about vaccination at a particular moment, consulting a doctor is much better.
- What is the vaccination protocol for a premature baby with jaundice?
The vaccination schedule for mature and premature birth is similar. In fact, babies born before time may need more protection as they are even less robust than normal babies and are more susceptible to infections. On the contrary, if your child has a low birth weight, you should consult your pediatricianfor advice. Lastly, babies who had jaundice after birth or are on mother feed should have a normal immunization schedule.
- How do youdefine herd immunity?
If enough people are given a vaccination against a disease, you can reach a phenomenon called herb immunity. When this ensues, it is assumed that the diseases don’t spread too quickly. It basically provides a blanket of immunity to those who have not been vaccinated.
Many people have concerns about the safety and efficacy of vaccines for their children. Therefore, in many areas, vaccination drives face restrictions and resistance from the locals. Myths about the adverse effects of vaccines, such as autism, infertility, and disability cast doubts in people’s hearts about vaccines. In reality, vaccines are inevitable for your babies if you want to save them from a host of infectious diseases.