All new parents would agree that carrying their bundle of joy for the first time is a priceless moment. You experience a roller-coaster of emotions ranging from happiness to nervousness about beginning this new journey. But another powerful emotion that takes over new parents is a strong sense of protectiveness for their child. Every step for and around the baby is taken with utmost care and caution, which is why childhood immunizations are important, as much as everything else.
You can babyproof your home and switch to baby-friendly products, but what about protecting the baby from infections and other ailments? Here’s where immunization comes into the picture. We’ve covered 5 essential reasons why childhood immunizations are important. Keep reading further to know what makes the process a very vital part of your child’s life.
Immunizations And Vaccinations – Are They The Same?
From the minute your baby is out into the world, or maybe even before, you’ll start hearing the terms immunization and vaccination very frequently. But what exactly do these terms mean?
To put it simply, immunization is the process wherein a person is made immune or is protected against infectious disease. This is done through the administration of a vaccine. Vaccination, therefore, is the act of introducing the vaccine into a person’s body. The vaccine stimulates the immune system to boost immunity and provide resistance to a specific disease by creating antibodies for the same.
Vaccinations and immunizations are a part of the same process, that is, to boost immunity, administer antibodies, and protect the person from any life-threatening diseases. The immunization and vaccination chart of your baby will keep a track of all the necessary shots for your child as per their growth timeline. Let us now have a look at why this process is so important.
Why Childhood Immunizations Are Important
Strengthen Your Baby’s Immune System
This is the most obvious and important reason for immunizing your child. When your baby enters the world, they’re exposed to thousands of germs, even through their everyday activities like breathing, eating, or touching different surfaces.
Although babies are born with immune systems that are capable of fighting off most germs, there are still some deadly or powerful diseases that they can’t handle. This is where vaccinations come into the picture to help strengthen your child’s immune system. Vaccines induce very small amounts of antigens into your child’s immune system. The antigens trigger the production of antibodies, and this helps the immune system recognize and fight off various diseases.
Vaccinations Are Safe And Effective
It’s natural for you as a new parent to feel stressed and anxious about your child’s immunization. But the best way to move forward is to keep yourself updated with trustworthy and relevant information. Don’t pay heed to unnecessary rumors and myths about the dangers of vaccines, as there isn’t any scientific evidence to back any of it. All vaccines given to the public are thoroughly reviewed by the doctors and experts in the field and go through rigorous testing first.
However, there could be mild side effects experienced by children after taking vaccines. This is a normal reaction and is a sign that your child’s body is creating antibodies. What you should definitely do is consult your pediatrician to know about which vaccines to take, how many doses your child should be taking, and what side effects are normal.
Protect Vulnerable Individuals And Future Generations
Immunization definitely helps in protecting your child’s health, but what it also does is prevent the spread of the disease to other non-vaccinated children or to people with weakened immune systems. This also sets a stepping stone for future generations because vaccinating society today can also help in eradicating or at least reducing the spread of diseases for children in the future.
Some Diseases Are Still Prevalent
The world is growing each day and advancements in the medical field have also helped in reducing the spread of many diseases to quite an extent. A major part of this advancement is credited to vaccination. For instance, smallpox vaccination has helped eradicate the disease worldwide. But it isn’t time to let our guard down now.
There are still a few deadly diseases prevalent in the world today that could have long-term effects on children. To help minimize their spread and to try eradicating them worldwide, vaccinations are essential. This is another reason why childhood immunizations are important even today.
Save Your Family Time And Money
Childhood immunization will boost your child’s immune system and help them fight against diseases. The reason why we’re stating this fact again is that this also helps you to save on your medical bills for treating the diseases that vaccines could prevent. Some diseases like whooping cough and influenza involve long and complex treatment cycles that are also very expensive.
Not to mention, it saves your baby the unpleasant experience of having to fight off disease. By vaccinating your child today, you can save on those treatment costs and use that money elsewhere for the betterment of your child.
What Immunization Schedules Are Available In India?
The immunization schedule for children might vary from country to country depending on the specific needs and logistics of that population. The schedule gives you an age-wise timeline of which shots are due for your child and when.
In India, currently, there are 2 kinds of immunization schedules – the National Immunization Schedule (NIS) and the Indian Academy of Paediatrics (IAP) Immunization Schedule. While the former is offered by the Government free of cost for children all over the country, the latter also includes many additional vaccines that are available in the country but aren’t a part of NIS yet. It can be helpful to learn the difference between the schedules.
New parent or otherwise, you should update yourself on your child’s immunization schedule so that you can take the best possible care of your child’s health. Worried about missing a date or maintaining several numbers of files? Check out the ImmunifyMe app and keep all your worries at bay. From vaccination reminders to records and milestone tracking, it’s a one-stop solution for your child’s immunization needs.
Childhood immunizations are important to build your child’s immunity, especially when there are still a few diseases out there that we still need to eradicate. And it’s not just for the protection of your child, but also to protect the future generations and society as a whole. All in all, immunization is the first step in building your child’s health, and surely no parent would want to compromise on that.
FAQs On Why Childhood Immunizations Are Important
At What Age Should Vaccination Start For A Child?
Vaccination for a child starts at the birth itself. BCG (for tuberculosis), Hepatitis B, and OPV0 (Oral Polio Vaccine) are the main vaccines at birth. From then on, it is advisable to follow the vaccination schedule for your child. Ensure you discuss it with your pediatrician.
How Many Vaccines Does A Child Get?
Every child needs to follow a vaccination schedule as per their health. Some children may require to take multiple doses at specific ages or times, depending on their health condition. It is best to clearly discuss your child’s vaccination schedule (birth to 18 years) with your doctor.
Do Vaccines Offer Lifelong Protection?
There are certain vaccines that are capable of providing lifelong protection. However, inactivated vaccines usually require repeated doses to offer long-lasting protection.
What Are The Side Effects For Vaccines In Babies?
Mild fever, fussiness, and swelling at the injection site are some of the common side effects. These side effects are usually mild and resolve by themselves.