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Vaccines and Immunization for Babies

Diane Luke
Senior Editor, TipsHire
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Vaccines and immunization for babies are some very important chapters in the care of your child. They protect the child from a range of potentially serious infectious diseases. Currently diphtheria and polio are almost eradicated, and measles and convulsive cough rarely occur but, however, as long as there is a danger of illness, children should be vaccinated on time.

In every country in the world, the vaccination of children is guaranteed as free of charge but parents need to know that they are the ones who administer the rights of their children. One of these rights is to be protected by vaccination. Everything you need to know about vaccines and immunization, below.

Why does a baby need so many vaccinations?

Immediately after birth, babies are protected from many infectious diseases due to the antibodies they have in their blood, got from their mother’s during the intrauterine life.

The amount of these antibodies decreases over time and the child becomes vulnerable to different diseases. Vaccines force the babies’ immune system to produce their own antibodies that will protect them from the diseases, and, in the case of girls, these antibodies will protect their children when they’ll become mothers, on their turn.

How do vaccines work?

The vaccines are made of bacteria or viruses that cause these diseases but with diminished action. The bacteria and viruses used in vaccines can be even dead.

When these viruses or these modified bacteria are injected into the child’s body, his immune system acts to stimulate the body to produce the specific antibodies. Once produced, these antibodies remain active in your child’s body and are ready to act if there is a real disease threat.

For example, if the Whooping Cough virus is contracted by your vaccinated baby, then he will not get sick or will make a much easier form of the disease, in comparison to a baby who was not vaccinated against this virus.

One of the mothers whose child had one of these diseases posted on a forum that her baby spent 8 days in the hospital with an oxygen mask, monitored for heart rate, perfusion, and so forth, and that all these could have been avoided by a simple vaccine, thus making vaccinations really important.

Issues related to children’s vaccinations.

Most vaccines are administered by injection. In addition to achieving the desired protection, almost all injected vaccines should be administered repeatedly. Most children have no problem after they are vaccinated. Prior to administering the vaccine, your doctor will check your child’s health and history of previous immunizations.

Severe diseases that can occur if you do not respect the timing of immunizations.

Diphtheria.

Diphtheria is a severe infectious disease in which a membrane can form in the posterior part of the nose and throat, thus preventing breathing.

It can be prevented by the DTP vaccination.

Measles.

Measles is a potentially severe disease. It can cause high fever and complications such as:

  • middle ear infection
  • deafness
  • croup
  • pneumonia
  • complications in the brain, rarely.

It can be prevented by MMR vaccination.

The Whooping Cough.

It is a dangerous bacterial infection, especially in infants. The Whooping Cough has a particular aspect characterized by the baby crunchy coughs that end up with a snoring-like sound.

Complications include:

  • seizures
  • pneumonia
  • ear infection
  • hernias
  • cerebral complications but rarely and if not treated properly.

It can be prevented by DTP vaccination.

Tetanus.

Tetanus is an infection that can lead to death.

It occurs when a wound, even a superficial one, is contaminated with earth containing the tetanus spores.

Tetanus affects the central nervous system (the brain and the spinal cord). It is very important to prevent the disease by periodic vaccination.

It can be prevented by DTP vaccination.

Polio.

It is a viral disease that affects the central nervous system. It can cause limb paralysis, and sometimes extensive paralysis, including respiratory muscles, meningitis, and even death.

Protection against this disease is essential. It can be prevented by the anti-polio vaccine (OPV).

Optional vaccines.

Besides these mandatory vaccines, there are some optional ones, which are recommended even though they are not mandatory.

Anti-rubella vaccine.

Provides protection against rubella.

Rubella is an eruptive disease also known as the three-days German measles.

Chickenpox vaccine.

Provides protection against Varicella-Zoster virus infection, which causes chicken pox which is a highly contagious eruptive disease.

The vaccine contains live, attenuated virus and is part of the immunization programs in many countries.

Anti-rabies vaccine

Provides protection against the rabies virus. The first symptoms include fever and tingling, followed by one or more of the following symptoms:

  • spasms
  • extreme agitation
  • fear of water
  • paralysis of body parts
  • confusion
  • loss of consciousness

After the onset of symptoms, rabies almost always results in death.

Influenza vaccines.

Nowadays it is a trend to opt for vaccines against influenza in order to keep babies and kids safe from the specific symptoms of this viral infection.

Specialists say that babies between 6 and 23 months of age can benefit from the influenza vaccine. Pediatric specialists also say that influenza vaccine is very safe in this age group and is the safest way to prevent the flu.

Children under 2 years of age have a high risk of having complications following the infection with the influenza virus.

Before administering the influenza vaccine to your baby, talk to your doctor to get its consent. Generally, a baby can not be vaccinated against influenza if:

  • is less than 6 months old
  • has an allergy to eggs
  • had an adverse reaction from the influenza vaccine in the past
  • is not in perfect health state at the time of vaccinations

Controversies regarding vaccines and immunization.

Lately, the online is saturated of ‘conspiracies’ on the vaccines topic. Many parents are afraid to vaccinate their babies because they are afraid of side-effects and because many other people have frequently posted on the forums that vaccines contain toxic ingredients.

The true fact is that since these ‘conspiracies’ appeared the incidence in diseases such as measles, whooping cough, and other dangerous diseases has increased.

Don’t get tricked by this false information. Vaccines and immunization for baby are the best solutions to keep him safe, healthy, and happy, as every baby should be.

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