Category: Vaccines

Vaccines—Understanding The Basics

Syringe End PointVaccines are a controversial topic, but understanding more about them can help you keep your children healthy and safe. Here’s what you should know:

Why are vaccines important?

For many years in history, child mortality rates were incredibly high due to a number of factors. Deadly and devastating diseases like measles, mumps, polio and more spread through populations and took an especially high toll on the young and the old. Fortunately modern medicine developments, and particularly vaccines, have been able to eliminate many of these deadly diseases and provide protection against things like chicken pox and influenza.

Vaccines protect your children and your whole community.

How do vaccines work?

Vaccines contain extremely small amounts of germs that cause a specific disease. These germs have been either killed or weakened so that they no longer have the ability to cause the disease.

Instead, exposure to tiny amounts of these dead germs stimulates the immune system. The immune system produces T-lymphocytes and antibodies to that particular germ so that when a child or adult is exposed to that disease in other situations, the body has the tools it needs to prevent the disease from developing.

Some vaccines provide lifetime immunity while others need to be re-administered from time to time. Follow the instructions given by your doctor about when vaccines are necessary.

Without vaccines, exposure to these germs could be deadly, but with vaccines children and adults are completely protected against disease that used to kill thousands of people even if they are exposed to germs.

Vaccine Safety

Sadly, false information has been spread about vaccines that has made some parents nervous. Believing this bad information can be devastating to your children and others in your community. While some children may need to alter their vaccine schedule or receive special treatments, vaccines are very safe and parents who want their children to stay healthy should have those children vaccinated. If you have questions about vaccine safety, consult your doctor. Dr. Peraza is happy to educate clients and help them understand the benefits and necessity of vaccination.

As a parent it is your responsibility to keep your children healthy. Vaccines are essential tools for protecting your children from deadly diseases. To learn more about how vaccines work and why they are safe, contact Dr. Peraza.

Should You Vaccinate Your Child?

Mother and DaughterAfter the recent Disneyland measles outbreak, many people have been asking: should I vaccinate my child? There is a lot of controversy and pseudo-science out there arguing against it. However, it’s important to remember that the pros of vaccination far outweigh the cons.

What Makes Up a Vaccine?

A vaccine is essentially a small dose of the disease. Weakened or killed versions of the virus or bacteria are injected into the body in order to help the body prepare against the disease. As your body learns as it goes, fighting against a dead, and therefore false, infection, will help your or your child’s immune system develop antibodies that fight against the disease. This way, if the body ever encounters the real infection later on, it will be prepared, and you will not get sick.

Why Do People Dislike Vaccines?

Many people think that vaccines cause autism in children, but this has since been proved to be based on a falsified study. Also, even if this were true, most people and doctors would agree that a child living with autism is better than a child paralyzed from polio or dead from the measles.

A more logical concern that many parents have is that their child will actually become seriously ill with this disease from the vaccine. After all, the virus or bacteria is entering the body. But you must remember, it is severely weakened or even dead. It is not whole, and therefore while there may be some reactions, it is very unlikely that your child will become gravely ill.

There are certain cases where people with already-weak immune systems cannot receive vaccines. This is all the more reason for you to vaccinate your child, as those who are unvaccinated (including babies who are too young) are protected when everyone else is vaccinated. Because of this, most schools require that your child receives certain vaccinations before enrolling, with a few exceptions based on health or religions reasons.

The Pros

There have been many diseases that have been completely eradicated in the United States thanks to vaccines, including polio. Measles was almost eradicated; this last outbreak has consisted of as many cases in about a month as there have been yearly for the past few decades.

Overall, the risks of vaccinations pale in comparison when you consider them alongside the risks of the diseases they prevent. The are made to keep you and your family healthy, and they succeed if they are used.