Recent news reports have detailed breakouts of diseases that you may think are extinct but still exist, such as measles and whooping cough.
Vaccinations are made to protect children in times like these when old diseases surface.
This is a great time to check with your family's pediatrician to be sure your children are up to date on their vaccinations.
Many parents worry about vaccinations because of the associated myths like links to autism, children’s immune systems being overwhelmed or children being too young for vaccines. It is important to understand why these are just misconceptions.
The myth that autism can be caused by vaccines was proclaimed by a British doctor, who has since lost his medical license. His claim that the measles vaccine leads to autism has been disproven through many replicated studies that have consistenlty found no link between the two.
The myth linking autism to vaccines has been disproven through many replicated studies that have found no link between the two.
Second, children have strong immune systems, which vaccines only help to improve. Their bodies are constantly working to build up antibodies to make them stronger. Vaccines help them build those antibodies so that they are prepared to fight diseases that they may be exposed to during school or out doing daily activities.
Their immune systems are not compromised by the vaccines. Vaccines contain only an inactive, or weakened, virus. This allows the body to detect the virus and build a system that so it knows how to fight the disease if the child ever comes into contact with it.
Lastly, some parents believe that they should wait longer to give their children vaccines. Immunizations are on a set schedule, however, to prevent children from getting the sick before they are likely to come in contact with the disease.
The vaccine schedules are in place to keep your child and the children around them safe. See below for a vaccine schedule you can print and discuss with your pediatrician.
There are many vaccines today that have different names, dose sizes and possible side effects. I recommend that parents get to know more by talking with their physician.
For more information, contact your doctor or visit CarilionClinic.org.
Jeremy A. Llavore, M.D., is a Carilion Clinic Family Medicine physician based in Boones Mill, Va. Learn more about where Dr. Llavore went to medical school and where you can find him when he's not caring for patients.