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Facts About Childhood Vaccinations

Health is wealth. And as a parent, your major responsibility is to ensure your toddler’s welfare. At a tender age, vaccines must be given to protect your young one from health complications. To help you better understand the facts about childhood vaccinations, here are direct answers to common questions about toddler vaccines.

What is a vaccine?

Vaccines are preventive medicines. It is given to individuals primarily during the first few days of birth to help their bodies generate antibodies which serve as a defense in protecting the body from obtaining infections. Vaccines are given to children early so that they no longer have to suffer any attacks from very dangerous diseases later in life. Most often, the immunizations given to toddlers are from ailments that are perilous and lethal such as polio, hepatitis A and B, measles, mumps, varicella (chicken pox), tetanus and Hib (Haemophilus influenza type B).

Why should children get vaccinated?

Infants and toddlers are susceptible to contagious diseases, and the best way to shelter them is through immunization. Getting immunized before the age of 2 is one of the most effective ways to ensure toddlers a normal and healthy development.

Natural Immunity vs. Vaccinations

Naturally, toddlers get some sort of transitory immunity from their mother’s womb during the last few weeks of pregnancy. However, this protection is limited to the illnesses the mother is immune to. Even though natural immunity from a disease offers more complete protection, a lot of unforeseen side effects can occur. For instance, a toddler without a varicella shot can get chicken pox and this disease when not treated immediately can lead to pneumonia or a natural Hib infection can result to permanent brain damage. Therefore, vaccinations are a better option as these can prevent ailments and their deadly complications.

Is getting multiple vaccinations at once safe?

Yes it is. Research has proven that a toddler’s body can handle many shots given all at the same time, even for a newborn baby. Also, getting your toddler combination vaccines better safeguards your little one from more than one disease.

What are the side effects of vaccines?

Every vaccine has corresponding side effects. However, these effects are only minor. Some toddlers can experience agitation, a mild headache, fever, loss of appetite, allergies and redness or swelling at the injected area which lasts for 3 to 5 days only.

Moreover, parents worrying about their children developing autism from vaccines should not fret. A scientific study was conducted and had proved that vaccines and autism have no relationship.

Do vaccines offer lifetime protection?

Vaccines provide the body life-long defense. However, there are booster shots like chickenpox, influenza and pertussis booster shots toddlers need to have to ensure the immunity does not wear off.

Can exercise and good nutrition substitute vaccines?

No, they do not. While a nourished and fit body helps boost the immune system, they do not supply the correct antibodies the body needs to fight off common and unheard diseases. Plus, parents cannot always look after their toddler 24/7. Toddlers are full of energy so it is better and more comforting to know your child is secured from natural diseases wherever he goes.

Who should not get immunization shots?

While vaccines are given universally, there are still a few exemptions. A toddler who obtained a previous dose of vaccine and had an allergic reaction should not acquire a second dose of the said vaccine. Toddlers with food and drug sensitivities, immune system diseases (e.g. AIDS, HIV) neurological deficiencies and convulsion disorders need to undergo careful evaluation by a doctor before getting vaccinated. A toddler with cancer or is undergoing chemotherapy is also forbidden from receiving immunization shots.

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