To Vaccinate or Not to Vaccinate

For some parents, vaccines represent a threat to their child’s health and safety but, for the vast majority of parents, vaccinating their child is a given.

“Seventy years ago, we didn’t have to sell vaccines to people because those diseases were a real threat,” Brian Zikmund-Fisher, an associate professor of health behavior and health education at the University of Michigan. These diseases include polio, diphtheria, pertussis (or whooping cough) meningitis and measles.

Vaccines have made these diseases rare, but some-namely whooping cough and measles-have re-emerged as people stopped vaccinating against them.

The vaccine schedule is designed to try to balance a number of important priorities. It’s trying to give kids vaccines against diseases that are most likely to be dangerous early on. The vaccine schedule was made after years and years of research and trying to find the ideal schedule for each dose.

For newborns, breast milk can help protect against many diseases. However, this immunity wears off after breast feeding is over, and some children aren’t breast fed at all.

Vaccines work by imitating infection of a certain disease in your child’s body. This prompts your child’s immune system to develop weapons call antibodies.

Vaccinations aren’t all given right after a baby is born. Each is given on a different timeline. They are mostly spaced throughout the first 24 months of your child’s life and many are given in several or doses.

There is no federal law that requires vaccination however, each state has their own laws about which vaccines are required for children to attend public schools.

  • HepB: Protects against hepatitis
  • RV: Protects against rotavirus (diarrhea)
  • DTaP: Protects against diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis (whooping cough)
  • Hib: Protects against Haemophilus influenzae type b (bacterial meningitis)
  • PCV: Protects against pneumonia
  • IPV: Protects against polio
  • INFLUENZA (flu): every year
  • MMR: Protects against measles, mumps, and rubella(German measles)
  • VARCELLA: Protects against chicken pox
  • HEPA: Protects against hepatitis A.

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