All You Need to Know About Immunization

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Do babies get sick if they aren’t immunized? There are several diseases, which are vaccine-prevented, and not commonly found. Parents are worried about their children getting a shot of vaccine for they want to know if it is safe. Millions of children across the world are immunized, yet parents doubt about the safety of vaccines because of the rumors that they can cause health problems.

What Is Immunization?

Pathogens, which cause infectious diseases, are most often tracked and got rid by the immune system in the human body. Though the system is highly efficient in dealing with microorganisms, there are some facultative or obligate pathogens that overwhelm the immune system, and exert a range of deleterious effects on the body.  They cause serious illness, and the body fails to recognize these pathogens. With immunization, you can enable the immune system to keep out the pathogens. Vaccinations help protect children from becoming sick, and they are a part of preventive action for parents to save their children from various diseases.

Why Are Immunizations Essential for Children?

Vaccinations can prevent diseases in children. There are several diseases that are prevented by vaccination. Some of them are eradicated, but they still exist in some countries, and there is a danger that they may come back through travelers who go around visiting places. A new born baby should be protected from various diseases, which are common everywhere. Through immunization, you can keep those diseases away.

The immune system in children, which comprises of organs, glands, cells and fluids located all over their body, recognizes any foreign invaders or antigens like germs and fights them by producing proteins called antibodies.

If a child is sick because of a particular antigen, say measles, his or her body’s immune system will fight it by producing antibodies. The child becomes sick for the immune system takes time to recognize the antigen, produce the antibodies and fight the disease. Nevertheless, the immune system could identify the same antigen if it invades the body again, and reacts to it quickly by producing the antibodies, and getting rid of it without causing the disease next time.

Immunization helps the child’s body recognize a disease, as well as primes the immune cells to remember the antigens that cause the disease. It also stimulates the immune system to make antibodies to fight the antigens. Vaccines act by exposing the human body to a safe version of a disease, which may be:

  • An inactivated form of antigen
  • Sugar or protein from the composition of a pathogen
  • A weakened pathogen
  • A toxoid or a changed form of toxin from a pathogen

The body creates an adaptive immune response with the vaccine, and becomes equipped to fight the actual infection. Vaccines, which are administered in injections, consist of antigen and adjuvant, where the first one is for the body to make out the disease, while the second is to send a signal to the immune system to respond to the disease strongly and develop immunity.

What Diseases Can Immunizations Prevent?

Vaccinations are offered for the following diseases, and they are administered at different time schedules after the birth of a baby.

  • Diphtheria, Tetanus and Whooping Cough: The vaccines for diphtheria, tetanus and whooping cough are administered to babies, children below 7 years and older children. Babies and children are given 4 shots of (DTaP), and they are at the 2nd month, 4th month, 6th month and between 16-18 months. After this, these vaccines are given after every 10 years.
  • Hepatitis B: It is a liver infection, which is caused by hepatitis B virus. Vaccination prevents this disease, and children are given 3 shots of hepatitis B at the birth, in 1-2 months and 6-18 months. The vaccine is safe, except for the soreness at the place injected.
  • Hepatitis A: This disease is caused due to the damaged or inflamed liver. Heavy medications, toxins and some medical conditions can cause hepatitis A. Children should be vaccinated in 12 to 23 months, and the second dose in between 2 – 18 years.
  • Rotavirus (RV): Rotavirus can cause severe diarrhea, fever, abdominal pain and vomiting. Babies and children need immunizations to protect them from this. The first dose is given at the 2nd month, second at the 4th month and third at the 6th
  • Haemophilus influenza Type B: This causes severe illness, as well as death in children. To prevent it, all children younger than 5 years old should be given multiple shots of vaccine, where the first shot should be at the 2nd month, the second at the 4th month, the third at the 6th month and the fourth between 12 and 15 months.
  • Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR): Children are administered MMR vaccine in two doses, with the first one between 12 and 15 months after birth and the second between 4 and 6 years of age.

The other immunizations for children include inactivated polio vaccine, influenza, human papillomavirus and pneumococcal conjugate vaccine.