The outbreak of a pandemic has brought in a situation of fear and uncertainty. We all are ensuring the safety of our kids by keeping them indoors. While they have been busy with online schooling, we have been avoiding restaurants, canceling trips, etc – all just to reduce their exposure to the virus and minimize the risk level.
Now with the pandemic and kids being indoors, most parents might wonder – Do children need to be vaccinated if they are at home?
Both me and my husband have been thinking about this too. So far we have been avoiding hospital visits and even delaying general check-ups. But now our kid’s DTP booster vaccine is due and we have been wondering – can we take the risk of skipping or delaying their vaccine? Are vaccinations really important right now?
Well, it turns out vaccinations have never been more crucial. I spoke to our pediatrician regarding this and he highlighted that even if kids have been at home, it is important to keep their vaccinations up-to-date in order to protect them from serious diseases. So that when they go back to interacting with other children, they’ll have complete protection. And in case of booster vaccines, it is even more important that they aren’t delayed or missed.
Here’s why timely vaccination is important for kids even if they are at home –
- Vaccines help our immune system to fight infections by introducing an inactivated form of a germ (bacteria or virus) into the body. As it is inactivated, it cannot make us sick. But it triggers our body’s immune system to produce antibodies. So, if we ever catch the germ, our body’s immune system will already know how to fight it.
Usually, vaccines are administered as per a schedule. Some vaccines only require a single shot. However, there are many vaccines like DTP vaccine that require a booster shot after the initial dose to continue preventing the disease. Since our immune system gets slower with time and our body loses the antibodies gradually, booster vaccines work as a ‘reminder‘ to our immune system to continue preventing a disease.
Timely booster vaccines are very important as skipping or delaying them can leave our body open to disease once again and thereby leading to a potential risk. It leaves children at risk of getting diseases when they are at the most vulnerable age.
Also, children are not only at risk themselves, but they can also spread the illness to others who aren’t protected.
Thus following a recommended immunization schedule improves the immunization coverage and also reduces the chance of vaccine-preventable disease outbreaks.
In the past, vaccines have reduced and in many cases eliminated diseases (like polio) that severely disabled people generations ago.
They are only given to children after a long and careful review by scientists, doctors and health care professionals. Though these involve some discomfort and cause pain, redness or tenderness at the sight of injection, but, this is minimal compared to the pain, discomfort and trauma of the diseases these vaccines prevent.
Given the current situation of the pandemic, the last thing our healthcare professionals and frontline workers need is to manage a vaccine-preventable disease outbreak on top of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Hence, even if kids are at home, timely vaccination is important to keep them, the family and the entire community protected from any serious or dangerous disease outbreak.
The WHO as well as the Government of India consider childhood vaccination as the leading priority. So for the best protection of our kids and society, our children need to vaccinated even if they are at home, at the recommended times rather than delaying or splitting vaccines.
Especially for the preschool age kids (4-6 year), it is imperative to be vaccinated with the right DTP Booster vaccine for stronger immunity. The DTP booster vaccines help protect growing children from three diseases- Diphtheria, Tetanus and pertussis. They are given as a series of 5 injections, given at ages- 2 months; 4 months; 6 months; 15 to 18 months; 4 to 6 years. Since it’s a booster shot, most parents tend to take it lightly and sometimes delay or skip it. However, one thing that this current Covid 19 outbreak reminds us is – how valuable vaccines are. Without the protection of vaccines, a disease can spread quickly and with severe consequences.
As parents we need to remember that the health and care of our children lies in our hands and vaccination is a very safe preventive tool. Any concerns about vaccine safety should be raised with the doctor. But, the vaccine should not be avoided.
If you aren’t sure what vaccinations you or your child need, consult your healthcare provider right away.
Your child’s DTP booster vaccination is a must. #DontWaitVaccinate and know more about the Right DTP vaccine.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in the blog content are independent and unbiased views of solely the blogger. This is a part of the public awareness initiative supported by Sanofi Pasteur India. Sanofi Pasteur India bears no responsibility for the content of the blog. One should consult their healthcare provider for any health-related information.
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