Immunizations are used all over the world to prevent serious diseases. Many diseases today are no longer seen because of the use of immunizations. Some of them have become relatively extinct. Immunizations are a controversial topic, and many parents choose not to immunize at all. Some schools will not even accept your children if they are not immunized due to the risk they can put on other kids. Many different immunizations are given at specific times during development. Your first shot is to be given at birth. Each doctor’s appointment after that up until about the age of five may require immunizations as well. Just getting immunized can not only help your child but it can help you too.
What is an Immunization?
Immunizations are shots given to prevent chronic diseases in humans. There are many different types of immunizations made specifically to prevent viruses. They are not effective against bacterial infections. Bacteria can be killed with antibiotics. Immunizations are so effective because they contain part of the virus within it. The virus is either dead or alive. If you or your child already have chronic conditions, it is best to use the dead virus. The amount of virus put inside the immunization is so minimal that it does not cause any serious health problems. Many people do feel pretty bad after a vaccine because it revs up the immune system. The immune system begins to form an attack against the virus. There is a point to all of this. If your body already has an attack mechanism against a certain disease if you come in contact with it, it will not cause nearly as much damage. The body will be ready. Many people are concerned about immunizing their child and having immunizations in general because they are afraid of adverse reactions and side effects.
There is an immunization for almost every virus known to man. New immunizations are even being made for new viruses that are being unveiled. Immunizations are just a part of a physical at the doctor’s office. Pediatricians tend to give you a schedule at your child’s newborn visit so you can keep up with the immunizations they had for that day as well as the immunizations they have coming up. If you pay attention to the list, you will see some visits are going to be harder than others. Your child may only get one shot at their one-week appointment, and then four shots at the six-month appointment. It may seem like a lot, but the doctor knows exactly what they are doing. If you feel uncomfortable with your child having more than two shots at once, you can talk that over with your physician and they can make adjustments for you.
Immunizations are given in different doses and at different ages. Here is a chart of the most common vaccines and the ages each dose is given.
|Immunization||Number of Doses||Age of Dose|
|Hepatitis B||3||Birth, 2 month, 6-15 months|
(Diptheria, tetanus, acellular pertussis)
|2||2 months, 4 months|
|Tdap (Adult DTaP)||1||After the age of 7|
|IPV (Inactivated poliovirus)||3||2 mo, 4 mo, 6-15 mo|
|PCV (pneumococcal conjugate)||4||2 mo, 4 mo, 6 mo, 12-15 mo|
|Hib (Haemophilus influenza type b)||4||2mo, 4mo, 12mo, 15mo|
|MMR (Measles, mumps, rubella)||2||12mo, 15mo|
|Hepatitis A||2||12mo, 23mo|
|HPV ( Human Papillomavirus Virus)||3||Starts at age 11|
|Meningococcal Vaccine||2||First dose at 11, Second at 16|
|Influenza Vaccine||1||The first dose is given at 6 mo, and a booster is given next. After that yearly flu vaccines can be given.|
Different Immunization Schedules
As stated earlier, if you feel as if your child has to get too many immunizations at once, you can always ask your doctor to adjust their schedule. Sometimes you get behind because of missed or forgotten appointments. You should not feel bad about that. Your doctor will do their best to get you caught up. The dosing chart is a general rule of thumb, but different pediatrician offices do it differently. In other countries, they receive certain vaccines that we do not receive here. That is another thing a pediatrician will take note of. Every vaccine your child has is written in their chart. If you decide to change doctors, or you move away, vaccination records are extremely important. You do not want to get repeat vaccinations or get your next dose before it is time.
Immunizations are important for your health as well as the health of your child. If you as the parent have not been vaccinated, you should also get your vaccines as well. Protecting yourself helps you protect your child. It can be very difficult seeing your child get a shot. If you cannot watch or if it makes you emotional, you can ask the nurses to hold your child and administer the vaccinations while you leave the room. The nurses and doctors understand that it can be hard for you, so they are here to help you. It may seem like a harsh thing to put your child through, but in the end, you are protecting them.
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