Every parent wants the best for their child; the child’s health is their top priority. While you may try to do everything in your capacity to protect your child from all diseases, it is fairly impossible for you to be with your little one 24x7. Hence, it is in your best interest that you get your kids vaccinated on time to protect them from those illnesses. Dr. Tushar Maniar, Head of Department, Blessed Teresa Advanced Pediatric Center, Nanavati Super Speciality Hospital tells HerZindagi what vaccines are all about and how are they useful. 

What Are Vaccines?

A vaccine or an immunisation dose is a protocol to build your child’s natural immunity against a particular disease before actually falling sick. A vaccine contains a weakened or dead form of the disease-causing micro-organism that is introduced orally or through an injection into your body.

The disease-causing germs contain proteins, also known as antigens, which are detected by your body’s army and then produce antibodies. This gives your body a memory to bank on about the behaviour of the particular vaccinated micro-organism. If you are exposed to this disease in the future ever again, then your body will remember the past association and will fight off the disease without you even falling sick. While some diseases like the flu, typhoid, are chickenpox may be self-limiting in a healthy child, there are some others like polio, tuberculosis, which are deadly and can cause too many fatal and life-altering changes.

How Does Vaccine Help?

Here are the 5 most necessary reasons for getting your child vaccinated today.

Vaccines Help Prevent Deadly Diseases

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There are a variety of viruses and bacteria thriving on this planet which can cause various illnesses and death. These germs can be passed on from one human to another if they are not protected by vaccines. Even if a particular disease is not prevalent in your country, when you happen to travel around the world, the risk of disease transmission increases due to lack of vaccination.

Vaccines Are Very Safe

There is a big booming myth that vaccines are not safe and that they can cause autism or other mental or physical illnesses. There is no strong data that supports these false claims. The chances of your child developing a preventable disease are higher than them developing a side effect after being vaccinated.

While vaccines do involve mild discomfort and can cause pain and redness at the site of injection, that is very minimal. As compared to the serious effects and trauma caused by deadly diseases, bearing the mild pain due to vaccines is manageable.

Vaccines Are Health Protective

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Getting your regular doses of immunisations will help protect you against innumerable infections throughout your life. If you do happen to skip taking vaccines, you end up being vulnerable to diseases like influenza, HPV, hepatitis B, pneumococcal diseases. On fulfilling your immunisation protocol, you can be assured that you are reasonably protected against all these illnesses.

Vaccines Help Protect Future Generations

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Many diseases have been reduced in prevalence or in some cases, also been eliminated from the world. For example, smallpox, a deadly disease, which was responsible for many fatalities and disabilities around the world, has been eradicated worldwide, all thanks to continuous vaccinations being taken by humans across the globe.

The current generation does not need to take the smallpox vaccine as the disease no longer exists. We are almost there with polio on a global scale. A pregnant mother is given the Rubella vaccine to protect her from getting Rubella that could have major malformation to the fetus.

Vaccines Help Save Time And Money

If you have got your child and yourself vaccinated, you are safe from many of the preventable deadly diseases. Some diseases are known to cause prolonged disabilities and can also take a financial and mental toll on you because of the time lost at work or school, the long medical bills, long-term disability care or even constant hospital visits. All this can be avoided by just taking a vaccine against these preventable diseases.

How Does A Vaccine Work?

The vaccine once injected or given orally releases the inactivated or dead virus or bacteria into your body. This is the antigen that is seen as dangerous by your body’s white blood cells. Your body’s immune system now learns to create antibodies against this virus or bacteria that will help protect you from the disease.

This kind of learning is much safer for your immune system rather than actually contracting the disease and then treating it. Vaccines usually provide long term immunity. This means once your immune system has learnt how to fight a disease, it can protect you against the disease for a long time.

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Apart from your own health concerns, every individual has a public health commitment to the community to protect each other. This can be achieved only through vaccinating your family members and yourself.

Do not fear the mild temporary side effects of vaccines and avoid the long-term benefits. Complete your child’s and your immunisation schedule today and help keep your family and your community safe.

Take care yourself and stay tuned to HerZindagi for more on health.