Most healthy children are born with a functional immune system that is further bolstered by their mother’s immunity contributions. Although infants have the basics at birth that allows them to stay safe from some viruses and bacteria, they will require much more protection as they grow. Every environment is rife with various pathogens that can cause illness, when they strike a person with a weak or immature immune system, it will cause illness.
There are many preventable diseases in the world that have been either eradicated or reduced to manageable numbers thanks to widespread vaccinations. Some of these effect infants more severely than older children or even adults. Whooping cough, smallpox, diphtheria, polio, and Rubella are just a few diseases that infants are protected from when they are properly vaccinated.
How Infant Immune Systems Work
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From before birth, your infant’s immune system is working hard to protect it from bacteria and viruses that you encounter. Once your child is born it goes into overdrive to keep it healthy. The immune system is a complex system made up of cells and organs that all work together to protect your child. The critical part of your infant’s immune system is its memory cells and antibodies. Memory cells are tasked with supporting your infant’s immune system to prevent disease and respond to infections quickly. Antibodies are tasked with eradicating harmful germs that may enter the body.
Immunity is how your body and that of your child prevent disease. Babies have had no exposure to the elements or even varied environments which means their protections will be limited. At birth, the immune system has not yet fully developed which places your infant at more significant risk of getting sick or catching an infection. One of the best ways to build up your child’s immune system is by getting them vaccinated. Not only will this reduce the risk of sickness, but it can also help make your infant’s immune system stronger by bolstering their natural defenses. Vaccines also help an infant’s immune system to develop immunity in a controlled and safer setting.
How Vaccines Work In Infants
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Although the chances of your baby catching whooping cough, measles, or any other diseases that are preventable with vaccines is low, it is important to vaccinate. Even a small chance is unacceptably high when it comes to the health and well-being of your baby. Vaccinations also help keep other children safe and keep the instances of preventable diseases in the community low to non-existent. The last thing you want is for your child not to protect at a time they may need it the most.
Vaccines are the best way to provide your baby the protection they require without exposing them to a live disease. The immune system uses vaccines to produce antibodies without your child ever getting sick. One of the great advantages vaccines have is that in addition to bolstering the immune system, it helps your baby to create memory cells. These cells represent a wall of protection in the body that will keep your child safe from certain diseases for a long time, and in some cases, forever. There are many vaccines available and new ones are being researched all the time. For example, chances are you caught chickenpox as a child and had to suffer through a couple of weeks of itchy spots. Thankfully, there is now a vaccine that allows infants to be protected against this uncomfortable childhood disease.
Why Infant Vaccinations Are Important
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Infant vaccines are the best way to keep your child safe from childhood diseases and other illnesses that are 100% preventable. Many organisms are seldom encountered in modern environments which means it will be much harder, if not impossible for your child to develop immunity naturally. At birth, your child will ordinarily be given their first vaccination. Their pediatrician will also schedule follow-up visits for their next several rounds of routine vaccinations. In order for these life-saving protections to be effective, it is critical to vaccinate your child on time and according to the provided schedule.
Aside from the first vaccination, all other vaccinations will start when your child is around six weeks of age. In most cases, vaccines will have several doses given weeks or months apart. Many of these vaccinations will keep your child safe from debilitating or deadly illnesses such as whooping cough. The initial shots will give your child the first stage of protection their body needs to start bolstering their immune systems. Once all doses are complete, they will retain maximum protection.
Can You Give Infants Multiple Vaccinations & Are They Safe?
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The thought of giving your child a lot of shots is probably not something that gives you a warm fuzzy feeling. Thankfully, most vaccinations are scheduled to be administered concurrently. Infants’ bodies are constantly defending against thousands of germs on a daily basis. For curious infants, this number only increases. There are germs everywhere, but thankfully their immune systems are generally up to the task. Getting several vaccinations at once is not only normal, it is completely safe. Infant immune systems won’t be overloaded when they get multiple shots because only a small portion of their system will be used to start building protections. Also, infant immune systems are able to replicate protections from the vaccines in a relatively short period of time.
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