5 things every parent should know about immunization


Within the first few months of your child's life, your pediatrician will likely start talking to you about immunizations. Even if your house is stocked with hand sanitizer and antibacterial soap, it's important to know what options are out there to keep your kid safe from diseases that could have harmful consequences.

>> On AJC.com: What you need to know about mumps

With all of the talk out there about the pros and cons of getting your child immunized, here are five things you need to know about how the process works and why doctors recommend it:

What is immunization? 

The World Health Organization defines immunization as the process that makes a person immune or resistant to an infectious disease. The most common way to achieve this is by giving the person a vaccine. Over the past 200 or so years, doctors have been able to use vaccines to fight diseases that used to kill millions of people, including young children, every year.

How does immunization work? 

Vaccines are usually given through a needle injection, though Verywell noted there are some that can be given through the mouth or the nose.

According to WebMD, once a vaccine enters the body, it helps the immune system develop antibodies that fight the virus or bacteria that causes that specific illness. (The process can take a few weeks, so your child won't instantly become immune.) The next time your child runs into that virus or bacteria, his body will have the tools it needs to fight off the illness.

Does my child really need to be vaccinated?

If you plan to enroll your child in a daycare or school, there may be minimum vaccination requirements before they can get started. According to he National Vaccine Information Center, exceptions can be made based on certain medical or religious grounds, but an application is required.

If you don't have any medical or religious concerns, vaccines are strongly encouraged by the Centers for Disease Control to help slow the progress of infections. When more people get vaccinated against a certain disease, outbreaks can be prevented because the germs won't be able to travel as fast through the population. This is called community immunity.

>> Read more trending news 

Which vaccines are recommended for kids?

The CDC website lists 16 potentially harmful diseases that their recommended vaccines can protect against. Those diseases are:

Each vaccine should be taken during a specific age range, so be sure to talk to your child's doctor to find out the right time to bring them in for their shots.

What are the risks involved with vaccines?

KidsHealth says the most common reactions to vaccines are fever and redness, swelling and soreness where the shot was given. In rare cases, patients have had seizures or severe allergic reactions. If you're concerned about side effects, Parents Magazine has some tips for easing the sting and making your child's first immunization experience as comfortable as possible.

If you have questions about vaccines or side effects, it's best to talk to your child's doctor.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Local

13 Butler County foster kids get forever families during Saturday ceremony
13 Butler County foster kids get forever families during Saturday ceremony

More than a dozen foster children were connected with forever families during a Saturday celebration for National Adoption Day at the Butler County historic courthouse, and officials said more families are needed. Among those at Saturday’s ceremony were Mandy and Alan Whiteside of Franklin, who adopted two children, Leland (7 years old) and Bronson...
Woman pronounced dead after single-car crash in Shelby Co.
Woman pronounced dead after single-car crash in Shelby Co.

A woman was pronounced dead at the scene after a single-car crash on Mason Road near Port Jefferson in Shelby County, according to News Center 7’s Northern Bureau Chief Steve Baker. The driver went off the right side of the road, over-corrected, and lost control. She then went back across the center line and slammed into some trees. The incident...
Columbus Zoo’s baby giraffe passes away after 18 days
Columbus Zoo’s baby giraffe passes away after 18 days

Columbus Zoo officials announced Saturday that Ubumwe, the female giraffe calf that was born Oct. 30, has died. Zoo officials said in a series of Facebook posts that Ubumwe had been energetic and nursing well in her first two weeks, weighing an estimated 130 pounds a week ago. But she began experiencing “gastrointestinal discomfort” Friday...
Cheryl Coker case: Friends, police search area close to her home
Cheryl Coker case: Friends, police search area close to her home

Friends of missing Riverside woman Cheryl Coker were searching Saturday morning for her with the help of police. Organizers were out searching the Huffman Dam area at Routes 4 and 444 because it’s near Coker’s home. Coker went missing after dropping her daughter off at school on Oct. 2, and the next day investigators found her car in a...
Veteran of the Year supports Lakota students
Veteran of the Year supports Lakota students

Part of the reason West Chester Twp. veteran Jerry Nelson was chosen as one of Butler County’s two Veterans of the Year was his work with Lakota students on several programs the American Legion provides, some of which include college scholarships. The Butler County Veterans Service Commission picked Nelson and WWII prisoner of war Marvin Sizemore...
More Stories