When you get an infection, your body produces disease-fighting substances called antibodies. These antibodies usually stay in your body even after the illness has gone, and protect you from getting the same disease again.
Immunizations are also called shots or vaccines and can produce immunity. Vaccines are injected into the body to protect against disease. Most shots need to be given several times to provide protection.
Children can get very dangerous diseases that can be prevented by shots. Very young children are at the most risk, so you need to immunize your children early. Your child should receive immunizations at 2, 4, 6, 12 and 15th months,
School ages 4yrs and 12 yrs (prior to kindergarten and 7 th grade). Serving children from birth to 19yrs of age.
Most of the time vaccines work well. Reactions to shots do occur, but they are usually mild. It is important to remember that the risk of disease is much greater than the risk of the shot. These are very serious diseases.
Your doctor or public health clinic will keep a record of your child's shots and will also give you a record. If you do not receive one, be sure to ask. Your doctor or clinic will be happy to provide you with a Personal Immunization Card. It is very important that you keep this record of your child's shots. Bring the card with you when you take your child to the doctor, hospital, or public clinic and make sure the doctor or nurse signs and dates the card any time a shot is given. If you go to more than one doctor or clinic you may have the only complete record of your child's shots. You will need this record to enroll your child in day care and/or school. After your child gets shots be sure you have made an appointment for his or her next visit.
HEPATITIS B VACCINE (HBV)
Hepatitis B is an infection that causes liver diseases such as cirrhosis or liver cancer. The younger people are when infected with Hepatitis B, the more they are likely to develop liver disease. The first shot to protect your baby against this disease should be given at birth.
DIPHTHERIA TETANUS ACELLULAR PERTUSSIS VACCINE (DTaP)
DTaP vaccine protects against Diphtheria, Tetanus and Pertussis. Diphtheria enters the body through the nose or mouth. The disease develops in the throat. It can interfere with swallowing, may cause breathing problems, and can damage the heart and nerves. About 1 person in 10 who gets diphtheria dies of it. Tetanus, or lockjaw, is caused by germs that enter the body through a wound. Tetanus germs produce a poison that attacks the body's nerves. Painful spasms occur and about 3 out of 10 Tetanus victims die. Pertussis, or whooping cough, is spread through coughing or sneezing. Pertussis cause "coughing fits" with a high pitched "whooping" sound. The infection can damage the lungs and cause seizures. About 3,500 cases of pertussis occurs in the United States each year. Half of the cases that occur, occur in children under one year of age.
POLIO VACCINE (IPV)
Polio is a contagious disease that can cause permanent paralysis and death. Polio cases are rare in the United States today, but thousands of cases occur each year in other parts of the world. Without shots, Polio would return.
HAEMOPHILUS INFLUENZA TYPE B VACCINE (HIB)
Hib vaccine protects your child against Haemophilus influenza type b, often called Hib disease. Hib disease occurs most often in children under 5. In the past, about 1 child in every 200 caught Hib disease. Of these children, approximately 12,000 develop Meningitis, an inflammation of the covering of the brain, and 4,000 suffer permanent brain damage.
MEASLES, MUMPS, AND RUBELLA VACCINE (MMR)
MMR vaccine protects against measles, mumps, and rubella. Measles is a very contagious disease that can be dangerous. One or two children in every 1,000 who catch measles die of it. Measles can cause damage to the lungs and to the brain. There have been many cases of measles in the last decade because many parents forget to get shots for their children. Measles spreads very fast, and children who have not had their MMR Vaccine are at high risk. Mumps is a common childhood disease that causes swelling of the cheeks and pain in the ears. In some cases, Mumps causes permanent deafness. Children not given mumps vaccine are likely to catch the disease. Rubella, or German measles, is most dangerous to unborn children. If a woman gets rubella while she's pregnant, her baby can be retarded or deformed. We immunize children so they won't give this disease to pregnant women.
VARICELLA VACCINE (Chickenpox)
Varicella vaccine protects your child against chickenpox. Chickenpox is caused by a virus that enters the body through the nose and mouth. The incubation period is about 10-21 days. Chickenpox usually affects children of school age but can occur at any age. It is more serious in teenagers and adults. Late winter and early spring is when most cases occur. Women who catch chickenpox early in pregnancy are more likely to have babies with birth defects. An infected person is very contagious from 1-2 days before rash appears until 5 days after the blisters appeared.
PNEUMOCOCCAL VACCINE (PCV-7)
Pneumococcal vaccine protects against bacterial meningitis (an infection of the brain), which causes about 200 deaths a year in children in the United States. Children under 2 years of age are at the highest risk for serious disease, including meningitis, blood infections, and ear infections. The disease is spread through close personal contact with someone who has it. All children under 2 years of age, and certain children under 5 years of age should be vaccinated with Pneumococcal vaccine.
ROTAVIRUS: Rotavirus can cause diarrhea and vomiting in babies and you children often accompanied by fever. Sanitation and good hygiene are not enough to protect young babies from this virus. Although Rotavirus is not the only cause of these symptoms it is one of the most serious. Before the vaccine 55,000 to 70,000 babies were hospitalized each year due to the symptoms of this virus and 20-60 deaths occurred yearly. Babies who get the vaccine are less likely to be hospitalized or to see a doctor because of Rotavirus diarrhea. This vaccine is given orally at 2, 4 and 6 months of age.
HEPATITIS A: Hepatitis A is a serious liver disease caused by Hepatitis A virus (HAV) found in the stool of persons with Hepatitis A. This disease can be spread through close contact with someone infected by the disease and through eating or drinking food or water contaminated with the virus. Hepatitis A causes mild “flu-like” symptoms, jaundice (yellow skin and eyes) severe stomach pains and diarrhea. Often those infected require hospitalization. Because it is highly contagious it is easily passed to others within the same household. Complete protection requires 2 doses of vaccine spaced at least 6 months apart. Anyone over the age of 1yr can receive this vaccine. It is recommended for people traveling to countries with high rates of Hepatitis A such as Central or South America, Mexico, Asia, and Africa.
MENINGOCOCCAL: Meningococcal disease is caused by bacteria and is the leading cause of bacterial meningitis in children ages 2-18 yr of age in the United States. Meningitis is an infection of the fluid surrounding the brain and spinal cord. Anyone can get this disease however college freshmen living in dormitories have an increased risk. 10-15% of those infected with the disease die in spite of treatment with antibiotics. Of those that survive many suffer deafness, mental retardation, loss of arms or legs, seizures or strokes. MCV4 or Meningococcal vaccine is recommended for children ages 11 though 18years of age, and especially for college freshmen living in a dormitory.
Tetanus and Diphtheria (TD) or Tetanus, Diphtheria and Pertussis (Tdap):
Tetanus, Diphtheria and Pertussis are all caused by bacteria. Tetanus can enter the body through scratches or cuts, Diphtheria and Pertussis can be spread person to person. Tetanus or Lock Jaw can lead to “locking” of the jaw so the victim can’t open his mouth or swallow, also a tightening of the muscles all over the body and can lead to death.
Diphtheria causes a thick covering over the back of the throat leading to breathing problems, paralysis and heart failure causing death.
Pertussis or (Whooping Cough) causes severe coughing spells, vomiting and disturbed sleep, rib fractures, pneumonia and hospitalizations due to complications. Tdap is the newer of the vaccines and protects against all three diseases. TD has been used for decades and does not contain Pertusis vaccine. Children ages 7-11 yrs needing a Tetanus product will receive TD. The newer Tdap is recommended for adolescent’s ages 11 through 18 years.
Human Papillomavirus (HPV): HPV is the most common sexually transmitted virus in the United States. There are about 40 types of HPV and over 20 million people infected in the United States. Most HPV infections don’t cause symptoms and can go away without any treatment. But HPV is important because it can cause cervical cancer in women. Every year about 10,000 women get cervical cancer and 3,700 women die each year from it. It is the 2 nd leading cause of death among women around the world. HPV vaccine protects against 4 major types of HPV. This vaccine can prevent about 70% of the cases of cervical cancer as well as 90% of the Genital warts caused by HPV. HPV vaccination is recommended for girl’s age’s 11-12years of age. It is important for young girls to receive the vaccine before they become sexually active and exposed to the virus. For complete protection the young girls are given a three dose series spaced appropriately apart.