National Immunization Awareness Month is a reminder that children need vaccines right from the start.
You want to do what is best for your children. You know about the importance of car seats, baby gates and other ways to keep them safe. But did you know that one of the best ways to protect your children is to make sure they have all their vaccinations?
Immunizations can save your child’s life. Because of advances in medical science, your child can be protected against more diseases than ever before. Some diseases that once injured or killed thousands of children are no longer common in the United States – primarily due to safe and effective vaccines. Polio was once America’s most feared disease, causing death and paralysis across the country, but today, thanks to vaccination, there are no reports of polio in the United States.
Vaccination is very safe and effective. Vaccines are given to children only after a long and careful review by scientists, doctors and health care professionals. “Children who don’t receive recommended vaccines are at risk of getting the disease or illness and of having a severe case,” said Dr. Fogarty who provides Pediatrics care at Door County Medical Center (DCMC). “Every dose of every vaccine is important to protect your child and others in the community from infectious diseases.” Serious side effects following vaccination, such as severe allergic reaction, are very rare. The disease-prevention benefits of getting vaccines are much greater than the possible side effects for almost all children.
Immunization protects others you care about. Unfortunately, some babies are too young to be completely vaccinated and some people may not be able to receive certain vaccinations due to severe allergies, weakened immune systems from conditions like leukemia or other reasons. To help keep them safe and protected from vaccine-preventable diseases, it is important you and your children who are able to get vaccinated are fully immunized. This not only protects your family, but also helps prevent the spread of these diseases to your friends and loved ones.
Immunization protects future generations. Vaccines have reduced and, in some cases, eliminated many diseases that killed or severely disabled people just a few generations ago. For example, smallpox vaccination eradicated that disease worldwide. Your children don’t have to get smallpox shots anymore because the disease no longer exists. The risk of pregnant women becoming infected with rubella (German measles) and infecting their newborns has decreased substantially because most women and girls have been vaccinated, and birth defects associated with that virus are rare in the United States. If we continue vaccinating according to the recommended schedule, parents in the future may be able to trust that some diseases of today will no longer be around to harm their children.
Vaccinations are usually covered by insurance or the Vaccines for Children (VFC) program, which is a federally funded program that provides vaccines at no cost to children from low-income families. To find out more about the VFC program, or to learn about the recommended immunization schedule, contact the Children's Center of Door County Medical Center at 920-743-5566.