As a parent, you want to do whatever you can to protect your child and keep them safe and healthy. Vaccines are an important way to do that.
For newborns, breast milk can help protect against many diseases. It contains antibodies passed from the mother. However, this immunity wears off within a year, and many children aren’t breastfed to begin with. In both cases, vaccines can help protect babies and small children from disease. They can also help prevent the spread of disease to older children and adults.Vaccines imitate infection of a certain disease in your body. This prompts your immune system to develop weapons called antibodies. These antibodies fight the disease that the vaccine is meant to prevent. With them in place, your body can defeat any future infection with the disease.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) decides which vaccines should be given to people in the United States. They recommend that several vaccines be given during childhood. Read on to learn more about their recommendations.
As you make decisions regarding your child's vaccination schedule, it is important to explore as much information from credible sources as possible. Your family physician is a great resource, knowing both the science and your child. Work together with your healthcare provider to make the best vaccination decisions for your baby.
There are several types of vaccines, each well-suited to prevent different diseases. When administered, vaccines trigger your body's defenses which create antibodies to fight the bacteria or virus.
The scientific community chooses what type of vaccine to develop based upon the characteristics of the infecting agent (bacteria, virus or toxin), and then works to make the safest vaccine possible.