Vaccinations have been one of the most successful and cost-effective ways of safeguarding the health of a child and preventing the spread of life-threatening diseases. Vaccine-preventable diseases remain one of the major causes of child mortality and disability around the world, despite dramatic improvements in immunization coverage and access to health care.
Vaccination is essential to providing a safe and healthy environment for all children. Vaccines not only protect vaccinated individuals, but also help reduce the spread of infectious diseases by providing a form of herd immunity. When a significant portion of the population is vaccinated, the spread of infectious disease is significantly more difficult, making it less likely that those who remain unvaccinated will become infected.
Which Vaccines Does Your Child Need?
The precise vaccine schedule for your child may vary by age and medical history, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that all children receive the following vaccines to protect them against preventable diseases:
- Diphtheria, Tetanus and Pertussis (DTaP)
- Hepatitis B (HepB)
- Haemophilus Influenzae type b (Hib)
- Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR)
- Pneumococcal conjugate (PCV13)
- Polio (IPV)
- Varicella (Chickenpox)
Risks of Not Vaccinating Your Child
Missing even a single vaccine puts your child at risk for serious illness, disability, and even death from diseases that can easily be prevented with a vaccine. Unvaccinated children are at risk of contracting serious diseases, such as measles, mumps and rubella, as well as other illnesses, such as whooping cough and chickenpox. Furthermore, unvaccinated children are at increased risk of complications from these illnesses, such as pneumonia or neurological damage.
Advantages of Vaccinating Your Child
Vaccinating your child provides life-long protection against dangerous diseases and protects children who are too young to be vaccinated or those who are immune-compromised and cannot be vaccinated. In addition, vaccinating your child also helps to protect other people who may come into contact with them, such as grandparents, siblings, and other children. Vaccinating your child also helps protect the community by preventing the spread of infectious diseases. Vaccines are the safest and most effective way to prevent diseases and protect your child’s health and well-being.
By vaccinating your child you are helping to ensure their long-term health and well-being, as well as helping to protect the rest of the population from dangerous and potentially fatal diseases. Talk to your healthcare provider to learn more about the recommended vaccinations for your child and ensure that your family remains safe and healthy.