Vaccines remain one of the most important scientific breakthroughs in the medical industry. Throughout history, many health pandemics have steadily subsided through the efforts of our healthcare professionals in vaccinating the majority of the population. These days, vaccination services have become so easily accessible that people may even receive such services from their local retail pharmacy. However, despite the accessibility, some people remain hesitant to get immunized. Childhood immunization still remains a challenge. Let us explore why completing your child’s vaccination is of utter importance.
- How Do Vaccines Promote the Health and Safety of Children?
To begin, we at Cavalier Pharmacare understand why some parents (especially first-time parents) may doubt the safety of childhood immunization. However, as a trusted pharmaceutical services provider, we assure parents that such a practice underwent intense assessments from the research community before the healthcare industry recommended it to the public.
Vaccines have proven, time and again, their importance in improving public health. From the late 19th century to the early 20th century, frequent polio outbreaks caused deaths and paralysis among countless people worldwide. With no available cure, people who survived polio ended up with permanent disabilities that caused them to require long-term care. It was not until the first vaccine for polio was created that the number of polio victims began to diminish. Jonas Salk’s Inactivated Polio Vaccine (IPV) caused an annual drop in polio cases. By 1961, the 58,000 infected people tallied four years ago became 161 cases. With vaccination, the benefits will always outweigh the risks. The immunization process involves introducing a weakened portion of the disease-causing virus to the human body to merit a strengthened immune response. Hence, vaccines significantly reduce the risk of infection for infants and children (whose immune system is still developing).
- What Is the List of Vaccines My Child Needs?
A person’s vaccination needs evolve as they grow in age. At birth, before leaving the hospital, babies must receive the first vaccination dose for Hepatitis B. Then once infants reach 1 to 2 months, parents should ensure their children receive immunization for Polio (IPV), Rotavirus (RV), Pneumococcal (PCV13), Hepatitis B (2nd dose), Hib, and DTap. Children must receive their third and final dose of the Hepatitis B vaccine once they reach four months. And once they reach an age older than six months, they become eligible to receive annual flu vaccines.
Parents must always consult their child’s pediatrician before having their child vaccinated. The purpose of such a consultation is not to verify the effectiveness of vaccines. Instead, this consultation will assess your child’s eligibility to receive such vaccines, especially if they have pre-existing health conditions. We encourage parents to visit the official CDC website for the recommended list and schedule of childhood vaccination.
- How Can Parents Monitor Their Children’s Vaccination
On average, children must receive vaccination and complete their list of immunization from birth to six years. While your healthcare provider will indeed keep a record of your child’s vaccination list, it’s always better to keep a personal record for your family. As the community’s trusted drugstore, we want to emphasize the importance of safekeeping a child’s immunization record. Parents should always treat such a document like how they keep their child’s birth certificate. Securing a personal vaccination record will be handy, especially if your child’s file at the clinic gets lost or damaged due to unforeseen circumstances.
If your child ever misses a dose of a vaccine, it is unnecessary to have them re-vaccinated for all the vaccines they have received since birth. Your child’s doctor will continue with your child’s vaccination schedule until they complete all doses. If, for example, your child gets an extra shot of a vaccine (intentional or not), health experts assure you that it is not a matter of concern. However, your child will still need to receive future doses according to their vaccination schedule.
- Is There a Need to Delay Vaccinations?
In particular cases, doctors may advise parents to delay their child’s vaccination or have them not receive specific vaccines. Such a case is prevalent among children with severe allergic reactions to particular vaccines. Another example is when a physician advises the parents to wait until a child fully recovers from an acute illness before they can undergo vaccination.
We remind all parents that they should never forgo essential childhood vaccinations on purpose. Healthcare experts have set guidelines for when delaying a child’s vaccination is applicable. Thus, parents must collaborate with their child’s pediatrician if they ever think their child is in a situation that puts them at risk of receiving vaccines.
- What Should Parents Do if Their Child Experiences Side Effects?
Just like medications, most people will experience side effects from getting vaccinated. Thus, before your child receives a dose of a vaccine, we encourage parents to read the vaccine information sheet so they will know what to expect concerning the vaccine’s potential side effects. Observe your child in the days following their vaccination. If you notice anything that piques your concern, please don’t hesitate to contact your healthcare provider immediately.
Our pharmacy will always advocate for childhood immunization because we value your family’s health above all else. Hence, whenever you need pharmacy-related services and quality medicine on time, look no further than us! Contact us today at 276-666-6644 for further inquiries.