Spotlight on vaccines

11/12/2018

School-age children–from preschoolers to college students–need vaccines to protect them from diseases that can be serious and sometimes life-threatening.

Getting your child all their vaccinations on time is one of the most important things you can do as a parent to ensure your child’s long-term health, as well as the health of friends, classmates, and others in your community.

Vaccines help more than just your child. Parents who choose not to vaccinate their children increase the risk of disease, not only for their own children, but also for other children and adults. For example, vulnerable newborns too young to receive the maximum protection of vaccines or people with weakened immune systems, such as transplant recipients or some people with cancer, are at higher risk of disease.

Also, outbreaks of whooping cough at middle and high schools can occur as protection from childhood vaccines fades. However, those who are vaccinated against whooping cough but still get the disease are more likely to have a mild case compared to those who never received the vaccine.

Contrary to what you may think, vaccines do not overload the immune system. Your child’s immune system successfully fights off thousands of germs every day. Even if your child gets several vaccines in a day, the vaccines make up only a tiny fraction of the germs their body fights off.

Getting every recommended dose of every vaccine provides children the best protection possible. If you’re unsure of your child’s recommended vaccines, check with your child’s doctor.

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