This lockdown situation has been stressful on all fronts
For parents especially, it has been trying times, taking care of their children’s needs and health. I have neighbours who decided not to take their children out even for appointments to the doctor because they were worried about their children being exposed to the virus. While I can understand their fear, I would also like to point that that this behaviour is even riskier. Why? Because what happened was that both their children missed having their booster vaccines on time.
Now, we all know the importance of vaccines and how they help keep our kids safe from a range of diseases.
“A vaccine is a dead, weakened version, or part of the germ that causes the disease in question”.
It is of utmost importance to not only vaccinate children but complete the series through booster doses in order to protect them as well as those around from any kind of infectious disease/illness.
Usually, vaccines are administered as per a schedule. Some vaccines only need a single shot. However, there are many vaccines that require a booster shot after the initial dose to continue preventing the disease.
Why Are Booster Vaccines Necessary?
Boosters vaccines work as a ‘reminder‘ to a child’s immune system.
‘A booster vaccine is an extra administration of a vaccine after an earlier (prime) dose.’
Post the first vaccination, the body remembers to fight a disease and creates antibodies against it. However over time, the immune system gets slower and the immunological memory of the body declines. Hence it needs a reminder call in the form of a booster shot in order to continue preventing a disease.
If the booster vaccine is not given, the body can gradually lose the antibodies provided by the first vaccination, leaving it open to the disease once again.
Some vaccines that require booster shots are –
- MMR, DTP, Chicken Pox, HPV
- The flu shot is recommended every year. With every annual flu season, a new influenza vaccine is necessary.
- Some booster vaccines may also be necessary to travel outside the country.
Refer the image below to understand the vaccination schedule –
(Image Source : cdc.gov)
Why You Must Not Delay Booster Vaccines
Timely vaccination ensures that the child’s immune system gets the help it needs to protect him/her from preventable diseases.
Many parents tend to skip or delay the booster vaccines not understanding or realizing their importance. This can lead to a potential risk. Heard of children getting infected with an illness that they are already vaccinated against? That usually happens if the booster vaccine is missed. And there are parents, like my neighbours, who are misguided on skipping the booster doses.
Image Source – Stockfreeimages.com
Here’s why you must not delay the booster vaccines –
- Vaccines are carefully developed to protect a child against a specific illness. Hence, every recommended dose of each vaccine on the schedule is important.
- The recommended schedule is based on science and is created after a lot of research to protect infants and young children early in life, before they are potentially exposed to vaccine-preventable diseases.
- Delaying of vaccination increases the risk of getting infected. It leaves your child at risk of getting diseases when they are at the most vulnerable age.
- Children are not only at risk of getting sick themselves, but they can also spread illness to others who aren’t protected.
- Following the recommended schedule improves immunization coverage and reduces the chance of vaccine-preventable disease outbreaks.
- It also minimizes the number of visits to your child’s health care provider, which saves time and energy.
Hence, it is not only important to check if a particular vaccine requires a booster shot, but also to know when it is needed. Some parents take it lightly or even ignore it. However, following the doctor recommended schedule is crucial to staying disease-free. Know that it is not only little children who need to have booster doses, but adolescents too.
The decision of vaccinating our children is an important responsibility. As parents the onus is on us to protect our kid’s life, the life of others in our family, and our community. So, always remember to vaccinate your child at the right age and the right time and at no cost miss the booster vaccines.
If by any chance you delay a vaccine for unavoidable reasons, speak to your healthcare expert and catch up on it as soon as possible.
#DontWaitVaccinate your child now! Get more information on DTP booster vaccines here.
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.
Featured Image Credit – Stockfreeimages.com