Childhood Vaccinations/Immunization

Childhood Vaccinations/Immunization

Why Childhood Vaccination is So Important?

At birth, infants have protection against certain diseases because antibodies have passed through the placenta from the mother to the unborn child. After birth, breastfed babies get the continued benefits of additional antibodies in breast milk. But in both cases, the protection is only temporary.

Immunization (vaccination) is a way of creating immunity (a defense) against certain diseases by using small amounts of a killed or weakened agent of disease, often a virus, or bacteria, that causes the particular disease.

There are different schedules for different childhood vaccines. Therefore, it’s very important that parents consult their pediatrician about when different vaccines should be taken. It is also very important that children be given the full schedule of vaccines in order to be sure that they are protected against a wide verity of serious childhood illnesses. Parents should be sure to keep a written record of all of their child’s vaccinations, and take it with them when they visit the pediatrician.

In addition to the 11 recommended childhood vaccinations, there is a new one, called HPV vaccine, that is recommended to prevent cervical cancer. All 12 of these vaccines are briefly discussed below.

The Eleven (11) Required Childhood Vaccinations

Many children are not immunized with vaccines that can prevent serious diseases. These diseases can interfere with learning ability and hearing, and even cause death. The eleven (11) childhood diseases all children should be protected from are:

  • Diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis (whooping cough)
  • Measles, mumps and rubella
  • Polio
  • Hepatitis B
  • Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib)
  • Pneumococcal
  • Influenza
  • Chickenpox (Varicella)
  • Meningitis
  • Hepatitis A
  • Rotavirus
Children should have received 90% of their vaccines by the time they are 2 years old. Children in inner city communities, and some rural areas, are more likely not to get vaccinated, or to get vaccinated later than most children. Not only do vaccines protect multicultural/minority children, as well as non-minority children, but vaccines also help to prevent new outbreaks of diseases.
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