The Importance of Vaccinating Your Child

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5 Reasons to Vaccinate Your Child

For parents, it is important to see your child happy and healthy. One of the ways you can ensure your child’s health is through vaccinations. Below are five reasons why you should vaccinate your child:

  1. Immunizations save lives.  In the past, children were killed from numerous diseases due to the lack of technology and preventative medications. Today, medical advancements can protect your child against these diseases. Take polio for example, it was considered one of the deadliest diseases in the United States. Ultimately, a vaccine is what stopped it from reoccurring. Immunizations offer protection and are effective.
  2. Immunizations are safe. Healthcare professionals have carefully reviewed immunizations to guarantee that they are safe. Vaccines are thoroughly tested before being released to the public. While vaccines can cause some redness and discomfort at the injection site, they do not compare to the pain felt after contracting a disease. Some side effects such as an allergic reaction can occur, but they are very rare. The benefits of a vaccine outweigh any potential side effects.
  3. Vaccines protect others. Without vaccines, people with weakened immune systems are more at risk. When your child is vaccinated not only are you keeping them safe, but your family and loved ones as well.
  4. Vaccines save money.  Vaccine-preventable diseases can cause your child to be denied from school or daycare. They can also create disabilities for your child long-term. This causes financial stress from lost time at work, medical bills or long-term disability care.
  5. Immunizations have a long-term effect on future generations. Vaccines reduce and even eliminate diseases that harmed people only a few generations ago. Smallpox is a disease that no longer exists due to immunizations. Through continual vaccinations, parents may be able to trust that some of these diseases will no longer be around to harm their children in the future.

Vaccine-Preventable Diseases

Below are ten routine childhood vaccines that protect children from these 14 diseases.

  • DTaP: Protects against Diphtheria, Tetanus & Pertussis
  • MMR: Protects against Measles, Mumps & Rubella
  • HepA: Protects against Hepatitis A
  • HepB: Protects against Hepatitis B
  • Hib: Protects against Haemophilus influenzae type b
  • Flu: Protects against Influenza
  • PCV13: Protects against Pneumococcal disease
  • Polio: Protects against Polio
  • RV: Protects against Rotavirus
  • Varicella: Protects against Chickenpox

With school just around the corner, immunization is important when it comes to protecting your child’s health. Make sure to check with your doctor to confirm that your child is up-to-date on their vaccinations.

How Pharmacists can Help

Pharmacists are also in a unique position to identify those patients who are in target groups for certain vaccinations. They may also be able to ease the fears of many patients by providing them with facts such as clinical data and by dispelling common misconceptions and myths about vaccinations; they can also stress the significant risks associated with not being vaccinated.2

Tria Health was founded on the belief that pharmacists play a vital role in the management of high-risk patients. With Tria, you have the option of receiving a one-on-one private consultation with one of Tria Health’s pharmacists over the phone. During your consultation, your pharmacist will review all your current medications, including vitamins, supplements and lifestyle habits. Your pharmacist will be able to answer any questions you may have regarding vaccinations.

Sources:

1. https://apic.org/monthly_alerts/five-important-reasons-to-vaccinate-your-child/?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIutez1cGY6wIVEfDACh124woNEAAYAiAAEgLspfD_BwE

2.https://www.pharmacytimes.com/publications/issue/2019/january2019/adult-vaccination-rates-are-rising-but-fall-short

Everything you should know about vaccines

As National Immunization Awareness Month, August is a great time to learn about vaccines and make sure all of your immunizations are up to date. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that children be vaccinated for 14 diseases during the first year or two of their lives (see the full recommended vaccine schedule here). Other vaccines are recommended for adolescents, adults and those considering international travel.

A Brief History of Vaccines
Before vaccines were developed, outbreaks of infectious diseases that are now vaccine-preventable – like smallpox, diphtheria and measles – were fatal, especially for children. These diseases created widespread fear and panic, and killed a significant number of those infected. But those who survived developed immunity, and were unable to contract the disease again.

In the late 18th century, the English doctor Edward Jenner used cowpox to develop a vaccine which created immunity against smallpox, similar to the way surviving the disease created immunity. Over the next 200 years, effective and safe vaccines for several other infectious diseases were developed, significantly decreasing the occurrences of these diseases (see a full timeline of vaccine development here).

How do vaccines work?
Vaccines are created using an inactivated or weakened version of the virus that causes the disease. This allows the immune system to prepare the defense it would need to protect the body from the infection-causing virus. Vaccines create immunity to the diseases they prevent, similar to the immunity developed from exposure to a disease. Even though many vaccines are developed using some version of the bacteria that causes the disease, you can’t contract the infection itself from the vaccine, making it safer than developing natural immunity (
if you’re interested in a more in-depth assessment of how vaccines work, look here).

Benefits & Risks
Vaccines have effectively reduced the number of cases of vaccine-preventable diseases 
by more than 90%, and for many diseases by more than 98%. Before the measles vaccine was discovered, there were more than 500,000 cases a year. In 2009, there were 71.

Vaccines don’t just protect individuals, either. If a large enough percentage of a group is immunized, the risk for any member of the group contracting the disease is reduced substantially. It’s called community immunity. If members of that group stop being vaccinated, instances of the disease increase significantly.

There are risks associated with vaccines, but the majority of them are minor (think a little bit of redness or soreness around the injection site or other minor discomforts). The risk of contracting a disease preventable by vaccine is usually much more significant than the risks of side effects. Prior to any vaccination, discuss the benefits and risks with your doctor or pharmacist.

The perceived risks of vaccines, more often than not, are the result of common misconceptions about where vaccines came from and how they work. 

What Vaccinations Do I Need?
The CDC produced a vaccination schedule for all to follow (
the recommended schedule can be found here). Check with your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions about your vaccination history or what vaccine requirements you have.