FAQs about immunity and vaccines for children
We have put together a quick child vaccine guide for all the lovely mothers out there to feel reassured. Here are some common questions about vaccinations and immunity in children
Why are vaccinations and immunization important for newborns, children and even adults?
Vaccines have been one of the biggest success stories of modern medicine. Thanks to vaccines, a disease like smallpox is now a memory in the past. Cases of other childhood diseases like Polio, measles & diphtheria dropped dramatically. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that at least 10 million deaths were prevented between 2010 and 2015. This was a result of timely baby vaccinations as parents become more aware and start following the immunization schedule for children. Millions of lives were protected from the suffering, infections and disability associated with those diseases. Complications of child health problems such as pneumonia, diarrhea, whooping cough, measles, and polio were avoided. We all remember the Meningitis issue that happened this February 2018. Parents took quick action by vaccinating their children, which shows the community’s increased awareness.
How do infections & diseases cause outbreaks?
It’s simple. As long as there are major childhood diseases like that cannot be totally eliminated, it is important to keep immunizing. If a community stops immunizing against a disease that is still circulating, those who are not immunized may become ill. Then the disease starts spreading to others, leading to outbreaks or epidemics. This is why herd immunity is important. Herd immunity is when immunity of the whole population reaches a level that prevents the outbreak of disease.
Herd immunity helps protect people who can’t be vaccinated:
- because they are too young
- for medical reasons
- because they are immuno-suppressed
- because their immune system doesn’t respond to vaccination.
How do vaccines work?
A vaccine is made from a small amount of the disease germ. The virus or bacteria is killed or weakened to ensure the person will not catch the disease. When the vaccine is given, the body produces antibodies against the small amount of germ in the vaccine. These antibodies fight off the disease when a person is exposed to the germ in the future. It’s like training your body to deal with the virus or bacteria on its own later.
Are vaccines safe?
Health vaccinations are medically proven to be safe. The diseases they protect against are what’s really dangerous. Myths and misinformation about vaccine safety can confuse parents who are trying to make sound decisions about their children’s health. Before a vaccine is licensed, it goes through years of testing for safety and vaccine effectiveness. Most side effects from vaccination are minor, such as soreness at the injection site or a low-grade fever. These side effects do not last long and are treatable.
Serious reactions are very rare. These reactions have tiny chances to occur. But they have to be compared against the risk of getting a dangerous vaccine-preventable disease or suffering complications from it. That’s why the World Health Organization recommends immunization as a form of preventive and socially responsible behavior. Ask about mandatory and extra vaccines available at TABIBI 24/7
Isn’t natural immunity better?
Newborn babies may get some temporary immunity from their mothers during the last few weeks of pregnancy. Such immunity may only prevent diseases to which the mother is immune. Breastfeeding may also protect your baby temporarily from minor infections, like influenza and colds. However these antibodies do not last long, leaving your baby with a weak immune system that is vulnerable to disease.
Children who get exposed to a disease and become infected may experience natural immunity. Although natural immunity usually results in better immunity than vaccination, but the risks are much greater. A natural chickenpox infection may result in pneumonia. But the chickenpox vaccine might only cause a sore arm for a couple of days.
How long does immunity last after getting a vaccine?
A few vaccines, like Polio, chickenpox, hepatitis A & B and MMR vaccine may give immunity for life. Others, like tetanus, whooping cough (pertussis), meningococcal & typhoid vaccines last for many years. They may require periodic shots (boosters) for continued protection against the disease. Also, it is recommended to get the flu or influenza vaccine every year. Some people think that being immunized with the influenza vaccine last year may protect them from getting the infection this year. This isn’t correct because flu and influenza viruses constantly change. The government updates the Influenza vaccine each year to include the most current strains of the virus.
Why do some children need many doses for each vaccine?
Depending on the vaccine, your child will need more than one dose to build enough immunity to prevent disease. Or to boost immunity that fades over time. Your child may receive more than one dose to protect them against germs that change over time, like influenza & colds. All doses are important. Each one protects against infectious diseases that can be serious for infants and babies.
Why do vaccines start so early?
The recommended schedule protects infants and children by providing immunity early in life. It is important for newborn babies to receive before they come into contact with life-threatening diseases. Children receive immunization early because they are susceptible to diseases at a young age. The consequences of these diseases can be very serious, even life-threatening, for infants and young children.
The world immunization week 2018
People celebrate the World Immunization Week in the last week of April (24 – 30 April 2018). The initiative aims to highlight the collective action needed to ensure that every person is protected from vaccine-preventable diseases. “Protected Together” #VaccinesWork is this year’s theme. It encourages people at all levels to go further in their efforts to increase immunization coverage for the greater good.
Where to get vaccinations in Cairo – 24 hours?
TABIBI 24/7 provides vaccine schedules, mandatory and extra vaccinations for newborn babies, infants, children, adults and pretty much all ages. TABIBI 24/7 pediatricians and doctors directly supervise the immunization plans to reassure and follow up with the family. Vaccinations follow the international schedule and international pediatrics & family medicine guidelines. You can receive vaccinations in their perfect condition at home 24 hours a day and at TABIBI 24/7 clinics by appointments.
Please fill in the details to book a home or clinic vaccination visit 24 hours