Immunizations Are Key To Healthy, Fulfilling Lives
Immunizations can immediately change our lives for the better. From smallpox, to polio, to whooping cough, dozens of diseases that have previously endangered millions of lives can now be safely mitigated with a simple vaccine.
This week is World Immunization Week and the theme is Vaccines Bring Us Closer. Because of historic global vaccination efforts, we give our children the ability to safely learn, explore, and connect with their peers. We live longer, healthier, and more fulfilling lives. And right now, the COVID-19 vaccine is allowing fully vaccinated individuals to reunite with one another after more than a year apart.
The Importance of Childhood Immunizations
Most standard immunizations are best administered at an early age, before a child has the opportunity to be exposed to vaccine-preventable diseases such as chickenpox, mumps, or measles. Your family care provider or pediatrician can advise on a child’s vaccination schedule, administer vaccines during regular checkups, and educate families on vaccine effectiveness and safety.
Dr. Max Gucilatar, MD, board-certified pediatrician at JCHC Clinics, regularly has conversations with families regarding immunizations. He says, “Why wait? Why take the risk? Why not vaccinate?” They are a safe and effective way to prevent serious disease. Delaying, skipping, or rejecting vaccines will negatively impact a child’s health, and may prevent a community from achieving herd immunity.
Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a community’s population is immune to a disease, and the disease can no longer easily infect new individuals. The herd immunity threshold varies between diseases, due to the different levels of infectiousness.
Some parents may be hesitant to vaccinate their children, or may be concerned when they see vaccine misinformation on social media. When Nancy Cox, Certified Pediatric Nurse Practitioner, encounters vaccine hesitancy, she asks parents, “Would you mind telling me why?”
After listening to parent’s concerns, Cox provides reassurance and educational resources from quality sources on the safety and efficacy of vaccines.
“The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) and the AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics) are universally accepted, reliable sources of information [regarding vaccines],” Dr. Gucilatar said. They are the best places for families to gather information and make educated decisions.
How To Get On Track with Your Child’s Vaccinations
With the COVID-19 pandemic, many Well-Child visits and recommended vaccinations were delayed, but it’s never too late to get caught up and get immunized. Use the links below to review the latest CDC child vaccination schedules, and contact JCHC clinics to schedule a Well-Child check with your provider at 641-472-4156.
Child Vaccine Schedule Age 0-6
Child Vaccine Schedule Age 7-18
Immunizations help our children grow into healthy adults, and are one of the best and easiest ways to help ensure future generations live vibrant, fulfilling lives.
Happy World Immunization Week