How Vaccinations Help Your Child
Reasons to Vaccinate Your Children
When infants and children are growing, their bodies benefit from vaccines and immunizations. They offer a much-needed boost to help children build well-rounded immune systems and offer protection from serious illnesses.
What are Vaccines?
Vaccines help your body’s immune system produce antibodies specific to a disease. This is similar to how your body would naturally produce them if you were to get sick with the same disease. Vaccines are actually made out of the same viruses that cause the diseases. The difference is that they have either been killed or weakened enough to not get you sick once they enter your body.
Benefits of Vaccinating Your Children
Protection from Serious Illnesses
Much like maintaining a well-balanced diet and remaining physically active, getting the recommended vaccinations and immunizations can help your child stay healthy. When you opt out of getting your children vaccinated, you leave their bodies more vulnerable to preventable diseases like HPV and whooping cough, which can be life-threatening.
Protection for Those Who can’t be Vaccinated
Keeping your little ones up-to-date on their immunizations goes beyond keeping them safe. It also helps prevent the spread of diseases to those who can’t get vaccinated in your community. Depending on the vaccine, some of the people you protect include:
- Babies under the age of 2
- Pregnant women
- People with weakened immune systems
- Those with chronic kidney disease (CKD)
- Those with liver disease
Working Toward Disease Eradication
Although vaccines help to protect us against harmful viruses and bacteria, that doesn’t mean these illnesses have completely gone away. They can still be passed from person to person if they are not vaccinated. By keeping your little ones up-to-date on their vaccines and immunizations throughout their childhood and adolescence, you can help in the fight to eradicate diseases, like polio has been in the past.
The CDC recommends that children and teens get the following vaccinations as they grow:
- 4-6 year olds: DTaP, polio, MMR, and chickenpox boosters as well as the seasonal flu vaccine
- 7-10 year olds: the seasonal flu vaccine
- 11-12 year olds: meningococcal disease, HPV, and Tdap vaccines as well as the seasonal flu vaccine
- 13-18 year olds: meningococcal conjugate and serogroup B meningococcal vaccines as well as the seasonal flu vaccine