Hearing your infant wail as the result of a vaccination is not a welcoming sound to the ears of many moms, but the benefits of these vaccinations, in most mothers’ estimations, outweigh the temporary discomfort. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that all children get immunized against a host of serious diseases. By electing to follow this suggested schedule, and getting your child immunized, you could play a part in keeping him healthy.
The Vaccination Process
Through vaccination, you can allow your child’s body to develop immunity to an assortment of dangerous diseases. As the CDC reports, when a child is immunized, he is injected with a small portion of the disease against which he is being protected. This tiny dose of the disease promotes the development of antibodies within his body. While immunizations are not completely foolproof, they are effective in preventing disease 90 to 100 percent of the time.
The CDC recommends that parents immunize their children against 14 vaccine preventable diseases. The diseases on this list include: diphtheria, hepatitis A and B, polio, rotovirus, rubella, measles, mumps, pertussis, tetanus and, most recently, chicken pox.
The frequency with which you child must get a vaccine or booster depends upon the disease for which he is being vaccinated. Because there are so many diseases against which you child can be vaccinated, vaccination schedules can be highly complex, particularly in infancy, when most vaccines are first administered. The CDC offers a checklist for parents to follow when planning their child’s immunization schedule.
Post-Vaccination Side Effects
Aside from the initial pain associated with a vaccination, or any shot for that matter, a few post-vaccination side effects are possible. Many children will experience a mild fever or soreness at the vaccination site immediately following the injection. If your child experiences symptoms more severe than this, speak to your pediatrician as it could be a sign of an allergy to the vaccination.
Regardless of how careful you may be, missing a vaccination can happen from time to time. Don’t allow the fact that you missed a vaccination dose to derail your entire vaccination plan. Instead, speak to your child’s doctor. He can modify the regular schedule to get your child back on track.