The Basics of Immunizations

young doctor with babyAugust is National Immunization Month and we want to give you some basic information about immunizations that we found on

Make sure your child is up to date on their immunizations before school starts. Contact your doctor today to schedule an appointment. Take the time to educate yourself on how to best keep your child, and all children in general, safe and protected.

The Basics

Shots (also called vaccines or immunizations) help protect children from serious diseases. Vaccines can save your child’s life. Getting all the shots recommended by age 2 will help protect your child from diseases that can be dangerous or even deadly, including:

  • Measles
  • Whooping cough (pertussis)
  • Chickenpox
  • Hepatitis A and B

It’s important for your child to get all the shots. Each vaccine protects your child from different diseases. And each vaccine usually requires more than one dose (shot). For the best protection, your child needs every dose of each vaccine. If your child misses a shot, she may not be protected. It’s important for every child to get shots. The bacteria and viruses (germs) that cause serious childhood diseases are still around. Each child who isn’t vaccinated can spread those germs to other children.

When does my child need shots?

  • Shots work best when children get them at certain ages. Doctors follow a schedule of shots that begins at birth.
  • If your child is age 6 or younger, find out which shots your child still needs.
  • If your child has missed getting some shots, talk to the doctor about “catch-up” shots.
  • Doctors recommend that pre-teens ages 11 and 12 get important shots, too. Find out more about shots for pre-teens.
  • Ask the doctor for a list of the shots your child has received. Keep the list in a safe place – you will need it for school and other activities. Kids who don’t get all their shots may not be allowed to attend certain schools.

Are there any side effects from shots?

Side effects from shots are usually mild and only last a short time. The most common side effect is pain or redness where the shot was given. Some children have no side effects at all. Ask the doctor what to expect after your child’s shots.

Shots are very safe

Vaccines are tested for years before doctors start giving them to people. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) checks vaccines every year to make sure they are safe. The risk of harm from shots is very small.

Shots don’t cause autism

Research shows that shots don’t cause autism. Autism is a disorder of the brain. Some kids with autism have trouble talking and connecting with other people. Some parents notice the first signs of autism at the same age their children get certain shots. They may think these things are connected, but research hasn’t shown any link between vaccines and autism.

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National Immunization Awareness Month

vaccines-immunizations- Catch UpSince August is the National Immunization Awareness Month, parents should take the opportunity to ensure that their children’s vaccinations are up to date. This is important since vaccines protect children from many diseases some of which have serious complications like infertility, deafness and even death.

For starters parents should ensure that the entire family is up-to-date on their DTap which protects them from diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis (whooping cough). The MMRV which offers protection from measles, mumps, rubella and varicella (chickenpox) is another vaccine which all family members should be current.

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends that all 11-12 year olds should receive the HPV (human papilloma virus) vaccine. Parents should therefore ensure that their pre-teens receive this vaccine since it prevents girls and boys from developing cervical, anal and oral cancer later on in life.

Parents should also remind their older children who are going to college to get all their immunizations before they move into dormitories. They should also make sure that those who are traveling to other countries receive the appropriate vaccines before they leave the US.

Since the flu vaccine becomes available in mid-to-late August, parents should also begin planning how all their family members will receive it to ensure that they are protected during the flu season.

In addition, since many immunizable diseases like hepatitis are easily transmitted, parents should also remind parents of their children’s friends to ensure that their children’s immunizations are up-to-date. This simple reminder can help protect not only their children, but also the community at large since having most people immunized reduces the chances of epidemics arising.

Written by: Marian Kim, FizzNiche Staff Writer

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The Importance of the MMR Vaccine

thRecently a measles outbreak in California was reported. To date there’s up to 68 outbreak cases, with 48 of those cases linked to an outbreak at Disneyland. Based on this rise it has been recommended that children under 12 months, and people never vaccinated, should stay away from Disneyland.

Before vaccines were created, measles, mumps and rubella were very common diseases. The MMR vaccine was created to protect children, and even adults, from these diseases with regular vaccinations. MMR is airborne and spreads from person to person, if unvaccinated. Even though it has not been scientifically proven, more parents are opting against vaccinations for their children, questioning their possible link to disorders like Autism.

When it comes to measles, mumps and rubella some signs of measles include rash, fever and cough; mumps causes fever, headache, muscle pain and swollen glands; and Rubella (German Measles) also causes rash, arthritis and fever. If a pregnant woman gets rubella it could also result in miscarriage or serious birth defects.

Vaccines are the best way to keep you and your family safe and prevent these diseases. The exception is if there is an allergic reaction, which could include breathing difficulty, hives, heart palpitations or dizziness. If you see or experience any of these signs after vaccination call your doctor, local health department or go to your nearest emergency room immediately.

**Medical Disclaimer: Always consult your doctor or other health care professional with questions or concerns regarding the MMR vaccine.

Written by: Jamacia Magee, FizzNiche Staff Writer

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The Importance of Immunization

vaccines-immunizations- Catch UpImmunizations can save your child’s life by protecting them from diseases like diphtheria, measles, mumps, whooping cough, rotavirus and tetanus. Since many of these diseases do not have effective medical treatments, vaccinating a child is the best way to ensure that they do not develop serious complications which can include paralysis, deafness and even death.

Vaccinations also protect other children and adults in the family who cannot be immunized because they have weakened immune systems from conditions like leukemia. This is due to the fact that it reduces their chances of coming in contact with and subsequently developing the immunizable disease. Vaccinating children against rubella (German measles) also protects pregnant women with healthy immune systems from this disease, which can cause serious birth defects in their unborn babies.

Immunizing children also protects the community at large since it ensures that if some persons develop infectious diseases like influenza and hepatitis, the chances of an epidemic arising are markedly reduced if most people are immunized.

Immunizing children also helps save money because some diseases which can be prevented by vaccinations like meningococcal meningitis and polio can cause high medical bills and expensive long term disability care if acquired. In addition, children with vaccine-preventable diseases can be denied attendance to schools and day care facilities leading to loss of time at work for their parents and guardians.

Other diseases like mumps which can be prevented by immunization, can cause infertility and adversely affect the lives of children decades later. Therefore since the side effects of vaccinations are minimal when compared to the effects of suffering from immunizable diseases, the benefits of immunizing children far outweigh the cons.

Written by: Marian Kim, FizzNiche Staff Writer

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