Immunisation has saved hundreds of thousands of children from death and handicap. Since the introduction of routine childhood immunization, many diseases including poliomyelitis, tetanus and diphtheria have been virtually eliminated.
Immunization is a safe way of giving children a 'mini dose' of an infection. The child's immune system builds resistance to the infection from this tiny dose. Later, when the child or adult comes into contact with the real disease in the community, they are protected from harm. Eight serious childhood diseases and serious infections can be prevented by immunization. Immunization is given by injection, or in the case of polio vaccine, taken as drops by mouth.
What Immunization Should My Child Be Given?
Where Can You Go?
Most children are given immunizations by their GP or by nurses at a health authority immunization clinic. Computerised registers are kept in most areas.
Keeping Track Of Your Child's Immunizations
When Is My Child's Immunization Due?
Are there any side-effects?
|•||Has a high fever (38 degrees or more)|
|•||Is very irritable or sleepy|
|•||Has any other unexplained problems.|
Most vaccines take some weeks to work and your child will only be fully protected after completing the full course for each vaccine.
The protective effect from vaccines is not lifelong. Some vaccines like tetanus last for only 10 years; after that a booster injection needs to be given. If you want more information, ask your GP.
Even when all doses of vaccine have been given, not everyone is fully protected after completing the course for each vaccination. Whooping cough vaccine fully protects 80-90 per cent of children who have been immunized. Measles and rubella vaccines protect more than 95 per cent of children.
Should Immunisation Be Postponed If My Child Has An Infection Or Allergy?
Babies can be immunized safely if they have minor coughs or colds without a fever, or if they are taking antibiotics but are well. Children with asthma, eczema, hay fever and allergies may be safely immunized but remember to tell your GP. If your child has had a severe allergic reaction to egg, talk to your GP again before the measles vaccine is given at the age of one year.
Homoeopathic 'immunization' offers no protection against infectious diseases.
|Some Soothing Tips
|Standard Childhood Immunization Schedule|
By Dr Peter Stott.