Do healthy children need vaccinations?#YourCareQuotient

The first time I held my child, my heart skipped a bit. I was thankful that I had a child who ticked all the right parameters in doctor’s charts. He was the perfect tiny bundle of joy that I wanted to keep safe at all costs!

For the next few months my child’s vaccination chart became the primary source of information. Like every first-time mother, I would keep checking it regularly to never miss any dates on the vaccination schedule. I had multiple questions coursing through my mind during our first vaccination visit & thankfully I had a good paediatrician who answered all my queries patiently.

The first & foremost question that I had was: why do we need to burden the little human with numerous needles & injections when he looks healthy with no signs of any illness?

A vaccine is a dead, or weakened version, or part of the germ that causes the disease in question. When children are exposed to a disease in vaccine form, their immune system, which is the body’s germ-fighting machine, is able to build up antibodies that protect them from contracting the disease if and when they are exposed to the actual disease. [1]

What we consider healthy is just the tip of the iceberg. Kids come in contact with thousands of germs every day. We do not always think that deadly diseases including rubella, diphtheria, smallpox, polio, and whooping cough can happen to children in our home. And thanks to vaccinations, millions of children’s lives are saved each year from these diseases!

 

“Knowledge Fact – In 1974, Japan had a successful pertussis (whooping cough) vaccination program, with nearly 80% of Japanese children vaccinated. The next year the rumours caused a dip in vaccination which led to a major pertussis epidemic in 1979. Numbers put more than 13,000 cases of whooping cough and 41 deaths. The case of whooping cough reduced in 1981, when government began vaccinating with acellular pertussis vaccine. [4]”

 

I believe in the concept that it takes a village to raise a child. And it is our duty to take care of that village too. And thus comes the responsibility for Herd Immunity. Herd immunity means that a high percentage of the community is immune to a disease (through vaccination and/or prior illness), making the spread of this disease from person to person unlikely. Even individuals not vaccinated (such as new-borns and the immunocompromised) are offered some protection because the disease has little opportunity to spread within the community. And to achieve this we need to get the healthy vaccinated too! [2]

We always dream of a better world for our children and want to protect our future generations. The generation before us remember the hysteria of the smallpox scare in India. It was eradicated from the world because of the intensive campaign launched in the seventies to end it.[3] To put a full stop to unknown diseases, we need to continue their vaccinations.

All these are reasons good enough for me to believe in getting even healthy children vaccinated. How was your experience of the first vaccination for your child? Do share your thoughts in the comments with us. Until then stay safe and get you children immunized! 🙂

What’s #YourCareQuotient? How much do you understand your child when it comes to sleep patterns, feeding and vaccination? Take the easy, interactive quiz that guides you and get the childcare guide now.


References –
[1] https://www.stanfordchildrens.org/en/topic/default?id=why-childhood-immunizations-are-important-1-4510
[2] https://apic.org/monthly_alerts/herd-immunity/
[3] https://www.lib.umich.edu/online-exhibits/exhibits/show/smallpox-eradication-india/indian-engages-pandemic/chronology-of-the-campaign
[4] https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vac-gen/why.htm

Post Author: Dishki

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