Immunization and Vaccination Schedule for Infants and Children
What is a Vaccination?
Vaccination uses vaccines to stimulate your immune system to keep specific infections/diseases away by helping you develop antibodies against a disease. It is the most effective way of preventing illnesses that spread. It is due to vaccination that eradication of diseases like Polio and Smallpox has been possible.
What is Immunization?
It is the process of a person’s immune system being made resistant to infections/diseases that spread. This can be obtained by getting a vaccine.
More About Vaccines & Immunization
Vaccination and immunization mainly target protecting people from contracting life-threatening diseases. Polio and influenza, for example, killed millions of people many moons ago, but both diseases can be prevented today, with the help of a vaccination.
After you’ve taken the vaccine, your immune system identifies the harmful substance and accordingly produces antibodies to eradicate the disease. It is known as an adaptive immune response – this targets and neutralises that particular pathogen but ensures memory cells are left behind for another attack, just in case the pathogen is back. This also brings down the risk of symptomatic sickness if the infection occurs again.
When a lot of people get vaccinated, protection is provided to everyone, including those who haven’t gotten a vaccination. It even decreases the chances of people spreading the infection. Healthcare providers have been successful at eliminating diseases like mumps, measles and polio. The only way you can kill a disease is by ensuring it doesn’t spread, and this is attained by more and more vaccinations.
Vaccination is required to immunize ourselves against a disease that may cause harm to a lethal extent. A vaccination schedule is a series of vaccinations which a child receives at specific time intervals since birth till older ages. The number of vaccines given to your child can be troublesome not only for the child, but for you as well. But when you keep a track of the recommended schedule, the risks of contracting a specific illness is much less.
The vaccine schedule has been proven safe and effective for children, keeping away most common illnesses. If a child isn’t vaccinated, the risk of him/her contracting an illness is much higher.
At the end of the day, it is immunization that grants immunity. To simplify that for you – even if you are vaccinated, it is ultimately down to your level of immunization that decides just how safe you are . Some vaccines wear off over time, and some, very quickly. If your immunity has begun decreasing, a booster shot should prove to be useful. The ideal schedule for children is to have it done from birth to age 6 and ages 7-18 years.
What we Think
By and large, vaccination and immunization are all part of the same process – they help keep you safe from illnesses. The means by which most vaccines are administered is by injecting them. If you’re scared of taking a vaccine because of certain health complications, please do consult your doctor for further guidance.