Vaccines reaffirm the fact that prevention is better than cure, any day. Common diseases that have always threatened people around the world include polio, measles, diphtheria, pertussis (a whooping cough), rubella (German measles), mumps, tetanus, rotavirus and Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) can all now be prevented with vaccination. The advent of the vaccine has eradicated dreadful diseases like smallpox completely from the world. Below are few reasons that Dr. Praveen Roy, Senior Consultant, Internal Medicine, Max Super Speciality Hospital, Patparganj mentions the importance of getting vaccinated:
Here are top reasons that highlight the importance of vaccination for any individual:
- The innate immunity a newborn receives from its mother weans away by the time it finishes its 1st year of life.
- An unvaccinated child will be a higher risk of developing communicable and infectious diseases than its vaccinated peers.
- In a society, vaccinated individuals can help prevent contraction as well as transmission of infectious diseases.
- Vaccination also provides an individual with immunity against the related type of disorders. For example, a simple measles vaccine can prevent bacterial dysentery, pneumonia, malnutrition from developing.
- Infectious agents like hepatitis-B virus and HPV virus are known to cause liver cancer and cervical cancer respectively. Hence, vaccination against these viruses will help protect the individual from cancers associated with them too.
- Getting children vaccinated at the right age helps in preventing infectious diseases that are preventable. This means no unnecessary hospitalizations, premature deaths etc. So the child can attend school without falling and the parents wouldn’t have to lose time from work.
- Vaccines are a way to raise a healthy future generation without allowing deadly diseases to affect them.
What is the right timing for immunization?
The vaccine-preventable diseases are:
- Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib)
- Hepatitis A
- Hepatitis B
- Human Papillomavirus (HPV)
- Meningococcal disease
According to the INDIAN ACADEMY OF PAEDIATRICS (IAP) the immunization for children should be done at the time of birth. Regular follow-ups with the concerned pediatric specialist can help you regularize a proper schedule.
How can a vaccine work towards the prevention of a disease?
Vaccines are made using the disease-causing virus or bacteria in their passive or dormant forms. So in this form, the weakened pathogens prompt your infant’s immunity to antibodies against the specific disease. So, the next time your child is exposed to the pathogen, its immunity will recognize and destroy the pathogen promptly.
What happens if we do not get our children vaccinated?
- An unvaccinated child faces the lifelong risk of developing life-threatening diseases that are communicable.
- Pregnant women who are not vaccinated are vulnerable to infectious diseases that could lead to serious complications during pregnancy.
- Parents who avoid vaccinating their children are in fact putting their own children as well as the society at risk as their children can become carriers of infectious diseases.
It is better to be safe than to repent.