Most parents ask if it is necessary to get their kids vaccinated. The answer to this question is yes. Vaccination is not only necessary for children; in fact, it is essential for adults too. If you are wondering why, then you need to know that immunization or vaccination saves lives. It is one of the best ways to secure your child and keep them away from any kind of infectious disease or illness. On top of this, the immunization process also prevents diseases from spreading in the environment too. The dozes given to children are normally considered as vaccines or vaccinations.
Vaccination helps a child’s body be secured from potential diseases like measles, chicken pox, diarrhea, cervical cancer, flu and many other diseases and illnesses. Vaccination helps keep your child’s body and immune system strong, preventing them from catching diseases and infections if they are ever exposed to them. Often, vaccination cannot completely prevent the diseases but it can surely make the severity of the disease less serious.
Some children require several doses of vaccines while some require just a few as their body is able to fight the disease and build immunity with those few droplets only. If you are interested to know more about immunization and vaccination along with their schedules, then keep reading this article.
What is Vaccination or Immunization?
Vaccination or immunization is a process of making the immunity system of a human body active against diseases. This process helps in reducing the effects of infections by any wild or natural pathogen. For an immunization process, a vaccine is required, an antigenic injection that is given to humans. If humans want maximum effectiveness, they may require several doses of vaccines to boost their immune response. Several doses are also required because the effect fades over time. That is why some doctors recommend some types of vaccines for 10 years of a child’s initial life.
To prevent the human body from contracting any diseases, doctors give multiple doses for maximum effectiveness. They also maintain an immunization schedule or vaccination schedule. A vaccination schedule is actually a record of the timing of doses of vaccines which is either mandatory or recommended by the doctors, depending on the country’s laws. This is because the vaccination schedules are actually developed by government agencies to achieve efficiency using the recommended vaccines.
Due to the increasing number of diseases becoming an epidemic, the government and physicians have changed the immunization schedules and requirements. Many vaccines have been added to the schedule since 1980. According to the Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention (CDC), a CDC vaccination schedule includes vaccines for at least 14 diseases. As per the CDC vaccination schedule, US children should receive 24 injections at the age of 2. Depending on your state, you should get your child vaccinated.
Why is Vaccination Necessary?
Many of us think that only kids require vaccinations and immunizations but according to the CDC, everyone needs it. There are many reasons for kids and adults to get vaccinated. If you want to know the reasons in specific, then you should consult your doctor. However, if you want to know the general reasons for getting vaccinated, then read the elements below.
Serious Health Risks
The core reason of getting vaccinations is to prevent a human body from being affected by potential diseases. While you protect your kids from illnesses and diseases with the help of vaccination since an early age, you should also secure yourselves, as adults, against potential serious diseases. The environment has become really dangerous and diseases spread very quickly. Therefore, there are chances for you to be at serious health risk and being affected by diseases like shingles, pertussis, influenza etc. Consequently, if you have symptoms of such diseases or you are at risk, you can prevent them from affecting you through a vaccination process.
Weak Immune System
When humans have a weak immune system or chronic health conditions because of diabetes, heart problems or lung diseases, they require vaccine injections. Doctors recommend people to get the vaccine injections so that the matters do not get complicated and result in long term illnesses. It can even cause death if treated lightly; therefore, it must be taken into consideration pronto if you are facing symptoms due to a weak immune system.
Circulation of Diseases
Diseases spread naturally. That is why it is important for you to get vaccinated. Also, serious diseases like influenza, migraine, whooping cough and meningitis can be contagious to health and when you do not get proper vaccination, there are chances that you would pass them to your loved ones; either to your spouse or to your children. If you want to reduce the risk of getting sick and spreading diseases to others, then you should not procrastinate and get vaccinated at the earliest.
Protection of Kids
Doctors seriously recommend pregnant women to get vaccinations, preferably between 27-36 weeks into the process of gestation. They generally recommend them to get whooping cough vaccines. This vaccination secures the babies from cough in their early age. Also, they are suggested to get flu vaccine for their infants as well. According to Schaffner, these vaccinations are considered to create a cocoon of protection around the baby.
Possibility of Not Getting Proper Vaccination
As a child, we do not know if we got properly vaccinated or not. Though our parents may have told us so, everyone does not get properly and fully vaccinated. So, there are chances that you did not get fully vaccinated as a child for rubella, measles, mumps, chicken pox, diarrhea, etc. However, you need not worry if you did not get it then as you can get yourself vaccinated now. Also, the vaccination process today has become more advanced and developed, making it possible for adults to get properly vaccinated.
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What are the Types of Vaccines?
To prevent diseases and illnesses from affecting you, there are certain types of vaccines. Vaccines fight the bacteria and potential viruses which might be present in the body. Governmental institutions and physicians decide which type of vaccine may be required for a specific disease. But, there are some main types of vaccines that are required by the US to be included in the CDC vaccine schedule.
Subunit vaccines are the ones that are made up of small parts of microbes that boost the entire immune system. They can either be made in the laboratory by actual microbes or by using genetic engineering techniques. However, the chance of reactions and prevention of diseases is comparatively lower than other types of vaccines as the microbe contains only certain parts and not the whole strain.
As it is quite clear through its name, this kind of vaccine is required by humans for toxic illnesses. These are the diseases that are very severe and can spread poison in the entire human body. This vaccine has been formulated with deactivated toxin instead of the whole bacteria. This vaccine type is better than the subunit vaccines as it has the ability to fight with the poisonous toxins which might be present in the human body.
Some microorganisms and bacteria in the human body have some special kind of coats that makes them hide in the immune system. This is where the conjugate vaccines work. This type of vaccine is unlike other types of vaccines, with link coatings to an organism which cannot be recognized by an immature immune system, producing immunity against that strain in the human body.
Live Attenuated Vaccines
Live attenuated vaccines are the types of vaccines that are made up of living bacteria or viruses that are poor or have been weakened by scientists. These types of vaccines are very efficient and effective and can secure a human body against potential illnesses and severe diseases.
Inactivated vaccines are the types of vaccines that are more stable than live vaccines. These are the kinds of vaccines that contain disease microbes that are killed with chemicals. Also, these types of vaccines boost a weaker immune response than living vaccines which require booster shots to stimulate immunity.
What is the Baby Vaccine Schedule?
Vaccination schedules vary from country to country but in the United States, according to the CDC, the baby vaccine schedule depends on the age of the child and types of vaccines. Here is the recommended baby vaccine schedule as suggested by the CDC.
- Kids need 3 doses of the Hepatitis B vaccine
- Infants require 5 doses of DTaP vaccine
- Kids should be given 2-3 doses of oral rotavirus vaccine
- Infants should be given 3-4 doses of the Hib vaccine
- Kids also require 2 doses of the Hepatitis A vaccine
- Kids must be given 2 doses of the chicken pox vaccine
- Infants should be given 4 doses of the polio vaccine
- They should also be given 4 doses of the Prevnar 13 vaccine
- 2 doses of MMR vaccine must also be given to kids
- Kids should also be given a HPV vaccine
- Infants require yearly flu vaccines in the form of nasal sprays as soon as they reach the age of 2 years
The number of doses for the Hib and rotavirus vaccines entirely depends upon the brand of vaccine the doctors are using and therefore, as a parent, you must always consult about the brand name of the vaccine and the number of doses. In general, there are fewer doses required for the Rotarix i.e. rotavirus, Comvax (Hib) and PedvaxHIB vaccines. Also, if the doctors are giving a combination of vaccines as listed below, then should be given a few shots.
- A combination of DTaP and IPV vaccines is Kinrix
- A combination of DTap, Hib and IPV vaccines is Pentacel
- A combination of DTaP, Hepatitis B and IPV vaccines is Pediarix
- A combination of Varivax and MMR vaccines is ProQuad
According to the CDC, the kids require some other vaccine doses as a booster shot as soon as they come at the age of 11-12 years.
- Only girls require 3 doses of HPV vaccine
- Kids require 1 dose of Tdap
- Children also require 1 dose of Menactra or Menveo along with a booster at the age of 16
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Recommended Vaccine Types and Their Schedule
According to the CDC, there are two most important types of vaccines i.e. MMR vaccine and HPV vaccine. The details for both of them are elaborated below.
The MMR vaccine is the immunization vaccine and a short form for measles, mumps and rubella disease. In addition to this, it can be used to cure kids from measles, rubella and mumps. Basically, it is a mixture of attenuated viruses of all the three diseases which can be administered using an injection. It has become a licensed vaccine to prevent humans from contracting measles.
The MMR Vaccine Schedule
To know about the MMR vaccine schedule, you should consult your doctor but in general, children who are 1 year old are given one dose and as they reach 2 years of age, they are given the second dose.
HPV is basically a genital human papillomavirus vaccine which is widely used in different parts of the world to protect against sexually transmitted diseases or viruses in the United States. This is considered one of the most important vaccines, having about 40 types of HPV. Caused because of sexual contact between partners, about 6.2 million people get infected with this disease each year. This disease has become an epidemic and can seriously affect health, causing cervical cancer in women, with more than 10,000 women dying due to this disease every year. This is why it has become necessary to resolve which is why an HPV vaccination has become necessary. Often, this disease gets cured on its own but sometimes, it can become so serious that it can result in death. Basically, there is no treatment for HPV infection but the conditions associated to it can definitely be treated.
HPV Vaccine Schedule
An HPV vaccine schedule, according to CDC, should be abided by girls on a daily basis. Girls aged 11-12 years must keep a constant check on it. Doctors usually give it to girls under 9 years old. Also, 3 doses are given by the doctors to the boys between 9-26 years of age.
If you require vaccination schedules for your kids or for yourself, you can download them from our main website.