A well-functioning immune system is capable of fighting off a variety of ailments and viruses that can affect the body. For the body to be effective in fighting off these diseases, exposure to the pathogen must occur. A vaccine is meant to provide the body with a weakened version of the pathogen, which stimulates the body to create antibodies to the virus. Once this occurs, the body will destroy any new strains of the virus before they are able to cause damage to the person. Additionally, less infection means less spread of disease. Vaccines are typically required for admission to public school as well as most sporting teams and extracurricular activities.
When the body is exposed to a small part of the virus, antibodies begin to decode the virus and create the specific cell to combat the virus in the future. Most vaccines will not cause illness in a child or adult who receives them. Additionally, most vaccines last for an extended period of time, sometimes for the life of the patient. Some will require a booster around puberty or early adulthood. The flu vaccine is unique each year and will need to be taken in yearly doses.
Vaccines undergo rigorous testing and safety clearances. They are not designed to make a child ill, however, sometimes the body’s immune response can mimic flu-like symptoms. In rare cases, a child may be allergic to some vaccines. Medical providers will screen for potential allergies before providing vaccinations. While some celebrity parents will advocate for no vaccinations, there is no scientific evidence that vaccinations cause autism or other developmental issues.
The CDC monitors and regulates most schedules of vaccinations for children and adolescents. Good resources for these schedules are the CDC website, the local school district, and your health provider. It is likely that your child will be required to have his or her vaccinations completed before being able to start school. Your medical provider can provide all necessary information.
Feel free to email us regarding any scheduling or general questions!