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Why Should Infants Be Vaccinated?

May 15, 2013
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Have you been reading Disability Living’s blog posts this week? We have been blogging about vaccines — what they are, how they are made, and why we need them. There has been much controversy surrounding vaccines in the past few years, but most medical professionals agree that vaccinations are both safe (for most) and quite necessary. This can be especially true for infants whose immune systems require bolstering.

Why should infants get vaccinations?

Why should an infant be vaccinated? The main reason an infant should receive a vaccine is to prevent the development of infectious diseases. In fact, “The Center of Disease Control recommends that parents make sure their infants are vaccinated against certain infectious diseases.” Infants need vaccinations because their immune systems are not equipped to fight off such diseases and illnesses. Basically, infants’ immune systems need a boost, and vaccines provide that boost.

How do vaccines work?

Vaccines have a powerful ability to protect individuals from infectious diseases. But how do they do this? First, a vaccine is “made of either weakened or ‘killed’ versions of the bacteria or virus that causes a particular disease.” When these bacteria/viruses are given via injection (vaccine) to an infant, the child’s immune system fights against the disease, preventing the development of deadly illnesses.

When should an infant be vaccinated?

Is there a certain age when an infant should begin being vaccinated? Yes. Infants usually need more than just a couple of vaccines, which is why the Center for Disease Control has provided a schedule for vaccinating your child (from birth to 18 months). See this schedule at http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/parents/downloads/parent-ver-sch-0-6yrs.pdf. You can read about the specific vaccines your child may need by visiting http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/schedules/hcp/imz/child-adolescent-shell.html.

Was your infant vaccinated?

Were there any vaccinations that you decided to forgo for your infant? What vaccines, and why? We would love to know about your experiences and opinions. Also, feel free to share any thoughts you have about infant vaccine schedules. Give us your input — comment on this Disability Living blog post today.

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