Posts for tag: immunizations
The importance of immunizations
Childhood immunizations are one of the most important safeguards against communicable diseases and their serious, long-term complications. Your pediatrician closely adheres to the vaccination schedules published by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Why? Well, there's nothing more important than your youngster's health and well-being, and immunizations effectively guard them.
Just what is an immunization?
Most immunizations are given as "shots," or injections, but some, such as the Rotavirus vaccine, are oral medications. However administered, vaccines boost your child's immune system in its battle against diseases which easily spread from person to person.
Each vaccine contains a small amount of a killed or weakened micro-organisms. These altered viruses or bacteria raise the body's defenses against a particular illness such as chicken pox. pneumonia, polio, tetanus, and more...up to 14 in all by time your child is two years old, says the CDC.
Are immunizations necessary?
Your pediatrician, his or her colleagues and decades of research prove that vaccines protect the health of individual children and of the community at large. Also called herd immunity, community immunity works best when as many babies and youngsters receive all their "shots" on schedule. Community immunity protects youngsters who cannot receive vaccines because of cancer treatment, HIV infection or other serious reason. It also shields the general population when people travel from countries which cannot provide access to these important medications.
Both the AAP and the CDC publish and recommend set vaccine schedules carried out at well-baby and well-child visits at the doctor's office. In addition, there is a "catch-up" schedule for children who have begun their immunizations late or had them interrupted by illness or other serious concern.
Your pediatrician's services
They're so important. Your child's doctor keeps your child's immunization records and can distribute them to schools, camps, college, sports, daycare and other organizations who require proof of up-to-date vaccines. The doctor also monitors your child for any adverse reactions, although typically, vaccines produce no more than:
- Localized redness and soreness at the injection site
- Low grade fever
- Pain and swelling
Childhood immunizations. Many Americans remember their smallpox vaccinations and have circular scars on their upper arms to prove it. The New York State Department of Health reports that administration of this vaccine stopped in 1972 because deadly smallpox was eradicated. Today's vaccines also protect children from the ravages of 18 communicable diseases. At Virginia Pediatric Group in Herndon, Great Falls, South Riding, and Fairfax, VA, your team of pediatricians and support staff recommend adherence to a vaccination schedule birth through the college years.
Both the Centers for Disease Control and the American Academy of Pediatrics see great benefit in giving intramuscular, sublingual, and subcutaneous vaccinations against chickenpox, measles, Hepatitis A and B, pneumonia, influenza, HPV, diphtheria, and other harmful and possibly deadly diseases. So they set a schedule for parents and health care providers to follow so children's immunity builds against infection.
How do vaccines work?
Based on principles discovered by who we now call immunologists, vaccines introduce a small amount of a disease-causing agent--virus or bacteria--into the patient. The patient's own bodies (immune system) react immediately and begin producing antibodies, microscopic defenses against disease.
Vaccines are made in several safe and effective ways. Some are composed of weakened microbes, and others are composed of parts, or antigens, of bacteria or viruses. While a child may exhibit some mild reactions to the germs (a low-grade fever, soreness at the injection site as examples), he or she will not develop the active disease. In fact, the body will become much stronger in its defense against the sickness.
Are vaccines worth it?
Vaccines are safe, and yes, they do work. Children are spared serious illness and complications. As such, your pediatricians in Herndon, Great Falls, South Riding, and Fairfax ask that parents and caregivers stay on schedule with immunizations at their children's well-baby and well-child visits.
Not only do these medications protect your own family, they also protect families across the country. As more people are immunized, fewer contract these diseases. Additionally, youngsters who cannot receive vaccines because they are allergic or are immuno-suppressed actually benefit from the general population getting vaccinated. Why? Well, fewer germs will pass from vaccinated individuals to those around them. This principle of immunology is called "herd immunity" or "community immunity."
Besides the obvious health benefits of vaccines, your child's school, daycare, camp, and, later on, college, will require proof that he or she has been fully immunized. At Virginia Pediatric Group, we keep an electronic record of immunizations to supply to those agencies and organizations who require proof of them.
Regarding those schedules...
The CDC and AAP put out immunization schedules for health care providers to follow. They list vaccines and dosages for children birth through six years, ages seven through 18 and also a "catch-up" schedule. The catch-up schedule helps children get immunizations they need but somehow missed due to illness or other circumstance.
Is your child on schedule?
Childhood immunizations are so important. To make your well-child visit, contact Virginia Pediatric Group in Herndon, Great Falls, South Riding, and Fairfax, VA, today at (703) 573-2432.