Vaccines work by stimulating the body’s immune system to safely provide protection against viruses or bacteria that cause infection. After vaccination, the immune system is prepared to respond quickly when the body encounters the disease-causing organism.
Why are vaccines important? They help provide protection from an infectious disease and can lessen the severity of illness. If you are immune to a disease, you can be exposed to it without becoming sick. Simply put, because of advances in medical science, vaccines can help protect us against more diseases than ever before. Some diseases that once injured or killed thousands of people have been eliminated primarily due to vaccines.
Immunizing your child helps to protect them from contracting and spreading certain diseases. Many of these diseases can be life-threatening; a simple injection or oral medication can virtually eliminate your child’s risk of developing these diseases. Although there are some risks associated with immunizations, the benefits to your children and your children’s children far outweigh the risks. The CDC recommends the following childhood immunizations:
- Hepatitis B (HepB): This vaccination protects against Hepatitis B, a highly contagious virus that can lead to diseases of the liver. • Diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis (DTaP): This vaccination protects against diphtheria, lockjaw and whooping cough.
- Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib): This vaccination protects against one strain of bacteria responsible for meningitis.
- Measles, mumps and rubella (MMR): This vaccination protects against measles, mumps and German measles.
- Varicella: This vaccination protects against chickenpox.
- Pneumococcal conjugate (PCV): This vaccination protects against the bacteria responsible for pneumonia, blood infections and bacterial meningitis.
- Inactivated poliovirus vaccine (IPV): This vaccination protects against polio.
We know the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted all aspects of life, including your ability to attend important appointments and receive routine vaccinations. We encourage you to talk to your doctor, nurse or healthcare provider to ensure you and your family are protected against serious diseases by getting caught up on routine vaccination.