Immunizations Q & A
Are you and your family planning for travel outside the country? At Prospect Pediatrics, PA, Dr. Okoh, who is an NJ Licensed Yellow Fever Vaccinator, will do a proper risk assessment and consultation for you and your family to get you ready for a safe trip abroad.
What are immunizations?
Your child’s immune system protects their body from germs, which it recognizes as dangerous foreign substances (or antigens). It does this by producing particular antibodies that fight the antigens. Every time that your child’s immune system successfully fights a particular germ, it “remembers” the antibody that is used and is able to more easily fight the germ the next time it comes into contact with it.
Vaccines are injections that contain a particular germ or virus that is dead or has been weakened. When these weakened germs are introduced to a healthy immune system, the immune system learns how to produce the antibodies needed to fight the germ without actually having to go to battle. This makes the immune system better equipped to fight the particular germ in future exposures.
Are immunizations necessary?
Many schools and daycares require proof of particular immunizations before your child can enroll. The prevalence of many serious childhood diseases is lower today than it’s ever been thanks to immunizations.
Before immunizations, the only way to build immunity to a disease was to survive a full-blown infection of it. Immunizations have created an incredible opportunity to build immunity to a disease without exposing yourself to the risk of its full effects.
What immunizations should I give to my child and when should I do it?
Vaccines are most effective when they’re given to your child at particular points in their development. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends the following schedule:
- HepB (hepatitis B)
- DTaP (diphtheria, tetanus, and acellular pertussis vaccine)
- Hib (Haemophilus influenza type b vaccine)
- IPV (inactivated poliovirus vaccine)
- PCV (pneumococcal conjugate vaccine)
- RV (rotavirus vaccine)
6 months and annually
- Influenza (flu)
- MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella)
- Chickenpox (varicella)
- HPV (human papillomavirus)
- Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis booster)
- Meningococcal conjugate vaccine
- MenB (Meningococcal B Vaccine)
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend a similar immunization schedule. Dr. Okoh is incredibly skilled in administering immunizations gently and effectively. Call or make an appointment online today and get your child on track with a proper immunization schedule!