National Immunization Awareness Month
How Vaccines Prevent Disease
Parents are constantly concerned about the health and safety of their children. Vaccines are a preventive measure to safeguard your children from illnesses and death caused by infectious diseases.
Vaccines protect children by helping prepare their bodies to fight often serious and potentially deadly diseases.
Why the Young?
Children are more susceptible to diseases for a number of reasons. The major reason is because they have had limited exposure to diseases and therefore have not yet built up their immune defenses.
The environment plays an important role as well. Children in daycare centers and in schools pass infections around and then take them home and pass them to siblings and parents. This is a cycle that is difficult to break but with timely vaccination, the cycle can be broken.
Vaccines have saved thousands of young lives and with proper use; they will continue to do so. It is important to keep your child up-to-date on immunizations to help them stay as healthy as possible.
Why are Childhood Vaccines So Important?
Maternal immunity wears off within the first year of life and your children are unable to fight off harmful diseases on their own. Vaccine-preventable diseases such as pertussis (also known as whooping cough), can be fatal if a child is not vaccinated and exposed to infectious bacteria.
The National Immunization Survey (NIS) data show that a 15% drop-off occurs between the third and fourth doses of DTaP (diphtheria, tetanus and acellular pertussis) in children by 24 months of age. When children do not receive their fourth dose of DTaP by 24 months of age, they are at least 6 months behind the recommended schedule, which may leave children incompletely protected against these diseases.
Before vaccines, many children died from diseases that vaccines now prevent such as measles and polio. Those same germs exist today, but babies are now protected by vaccines, so we do not see these diseases as often.
Immunizing individual children also helps to protect the health of our community, especially those people who are not immunized. Immunization also slows down or stops disease outbreaks.
As a parent, you do not want to see your child in pain or discomfort during an immunization visit with their pediatrician. Combination shots are now available to help reduce the number of times your child receives a shot from the doctor or nurse. Every precaution has been taken by the Food and Drug Administration to ensure vaccines are safe prior to granting licensure for public use.
Vaccine Safety and Autism
Myths and misinformation about vaccine safety can be confusing when you are trying to make sound decisions about your child's health care.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is committed to protecting the health of all Americans- including infants and children. The CDC is also committed to understanding what causes autism, how it can be prevented, and how it can be recognized and treated as early as possible.
Evidence from several studies and scientific review by the Institute of Medicine (IOM), examined trends in vaccine use and changes in autism frequency, does not support an association with vaccines and autism. The CDC supports the IOM conclusion.
What are the recommended childhood immunizations and doses?
- Diphtheria, tetanus, acellular pertussis (DTaP) 4 doses
- Inactivated poliovirus (IPV) 3 doses
- Measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) 1 dose
- Haemophilus influenzae Type b (Hib) 3 doses
- Hepatitis B (HepB) 3 doses
- Varicella or chickenpox (VZV) 1 dose
- Pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV) 4 doses
- Hepatitis A (HepA) 2 doses
- Rotavirus at least 2 doses
- Influenza (flu) vaccine 2 doses
To view the recommended immunizations for your child, please log on to cdc.gov .
Be a Winner!
- If your child receives the recommended immunizations by their second birthday, his/her name will automatically be entered into a drawing to win one of our featured prizes.
- If your child has already turned two years of age this year and has had all of the recommended vaccines, then he/she has been entered into the drawing already.
- Please click on the link provided below for additional prize information.
Leaps and Bounds
Learn the facts, share the facts and save lives:
- Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH)
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Why are Child Vaccines So Important, 2011.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Childhood Immunization Schedule, 2011.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Vaccine Safety: Addressing Common Concerns, 2011.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). CDC Statement on Autism and Thimerosal, 2011.