August is National Immunization Awareness Month. With children going back-to-school soon, it is important this month to stay on top of your child’s vaccine schedule and educate yourself on why immunizations are important at a young age. So why are childhood vaccines so important?
With all health issues, it is better to prevent them from occurring than to try to treat them after. Thanks to vaccines, many diseases can now be prevented. Smallpox for example, was one of the most dangerous diseases in history and now it no longer exists due to the smallpox vaccine. It is important to get children vaccinated as soon as possible, so it leaves little room to catch diseases and to spread them to others.
Immunity protects us from disease. When the immune system recognizes a germ, it produces protection to fight the germ known as antibodies. Vaccines for the most part are made up of parts of what causes the disease, but a weakened version of it. This way, vaccines don’t actually produce the disease but are strong enough to make the immune system produce antibodies. This is like having a child exposed to a disease without really getting it.
If an unvaccinated child is exposed to a disease, their immune system may not be strong enough to fight it off yet since they are so young. Getting your child vaccinated for certain diseases as soon as possible is key in not only preventing their potential illness, but others as well who can’t get vaccines. Some children and adults aren’t eligible due to medical reasons, or a child might be too young at the time. Vaccines not only save lives, but prevent hospital visits and costly medical bills, as well as time off work and school.
For more information on vaccines, including what’s in them, how they work, and their importance, visit https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vac-gen/default.htm#whyiz
To find out your child’s vaccine schedule and to make an appointment for their immunizations, please call us at 704-792-2242.