How Do They Work?
Vaccines, or immunizations, contain antigens that cause diseases; however, the antigens in vaccines are weakened or killed. Exposure to such weakened antigens stimulates the immune system to create antibodies that prevent diseases such as smallpox. This disease has been wiped off the planet due to vaccines. Before any vaccine is released to the public, it receives extensive scientific testing to guarantee both its safety and effectiveness. Based on this testing, recommendations on type and schedule of vaccinations are released twice a year by the centers for disease control, the American College of Immunization Practices, and the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Reasons For Vaccination
Vaccinations are quick, safe and extremely effective. Once your child has been vaccinated against a disease, their body can fight it more effectively. If a child is not vaccinated, they will have an increased risk of catching the illness. There will always be some children who are unavoidably unprotected due to these complications:
- They cannot be vaccinated due to medical reasons
- They are too young to be vaccinated
- They cannot get to the vaccination services, or cannot afford them
- the vaccine doesn’t work (extremely rare)
However, if more parents have their children vaccinated, then more children in the community will be protected against an illness. This lowers the chance of a disease outbreak. The only time that it is safe to not vaccinate a child or populous, is when the disease has been eradicated from the world. For example, when the every country had eliminated smallpox in 1979, vaccination against the disease was stopped. It is hoped that polio will soon be eradicated and that measles will follow. Many parents are concerned that too many vaccines at such a young age could overload your child’s immune system, but this is not the case. Studies have shown that vaccines do not weaken a child’s immune system. As soon as a baby is born, they come into contact with a huge number of different bacteria and viruses every day, but the immune system still manages to cope well and stay strong. The bacteria and viruses used in vaccines are weakened or killed, and there are far fewer of them than the natural sicknesses that babies and children come into contact with.