From our previous series of articles, you already know the importance of keeping your baby safe and healthy by doing things such as maintaining dental hygiene, adopting proper cooking methods and baby-proofing your home. Another sure way to protect your child is by making sure that they get all the recommended vaccinations.
Because of the major advances that have been made in the medical field, children are now more protected than before. According to a report published in the JAMA Network Journal, under-five mortalities caused by preventable diseases have declined by more than 90% since the 80s. Thanks to these vaccines, children can now live to blow their fifth, tenth and more candles.
Table of Contents
- A Brief History of Vaccination
- Why Should You Vaccinate Your Child? Five Top Reasons.
- How Do Vaccines Work?
- Are Vaccines Safe?
- Do Vaccines Have Any Side Effects?
- The Vaccination Journey of Your Child: from Pregnancy to Adulthood
- The Vaccines and the Diseases that They Prevent
- The Doctor’s Visit: 3 Tips for a Less-dramatic Visit
- Tracking Your Child’s Vaccination Journey
- Bottom Line of Vaccines
A Brief History of Vaccination
The practice of vaccination dates back to hundreds of years ago. In China in the 17th century, monks would drink snake venom to confer immunity to dangerous snake bites. They would also smear skin tears with cowpox to protect themselves against smallpox. In 1796, Edward Jenner made the first key milestone in modern vaccination by inoculating a 13-year old boy with cowpox, to demonstrate that indeed, the monk’s traditional practice was effective against smallpox. In the 18th and 19th centuries, smallpox immunization was systematically implemented and by 1979, smallpox was globally eradicated.
In 1897 and 1904, Louis Pasteur led the development of cholera and anthrax vaccines, respectively. In the late 19th century, the plague vaccine was invented. Between 1890 and 1950, the Bacillus-Calmette-Guerin vaccine against tuberculosis was developed. In 1923, Alexander Glenny streamlined the method of inactivating tetanus toxoid to a vaccine. Later in 1923, pertussis vaccine was developed but licensed for use in 1948.
The period between 1950 and 1985 was a win for polio as the inactivated and live polio vaccines were invented and mass vaccination campaigns implemented. From the 90s, the experts have achieved a lot through the application of molecular genetics and technology. Vaccines can now be combined (such as pentavalent which is a combination of five vaccines- diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus, hepatitis B and Haemophilus influenza), are safe and can even be developed seasonally (such as flu vaccine).
Why Should You Vaccinate Your Child? Five Top Reasons.
♠ Prevents serious illnesses and complications. Vaccine-preventable diseases such as meningitis have complications that can be deadly. They can cause convulsions, paralysis of limbs, hearing loss, brain damage, amputation of body parts or even death. Although you may not have seen these illnesses or complications, they still occur in other countries and can easily cross the border through unvaccinated travelers. Also, one can get the diseases by traveling to the disease-prone nations. Vaccinating the child gives the child immunity to fight these ailments, and this is the best way for primary prevention.
♠ Saves you time and money. Getting your child vaccinated is an investment by itself as
the child gets sick less often. That means fewer hospital visits, hospitalizations, and less medical expenses. Getting the vaccinations does not need much money as insurance covers them and if not, they can be paid for through the Vaccines for Children programs that are federally funded for low-income families.
♠ School entry. Some states such as California require that before a child is enrolled in state schools or day care centers to have received specific doctor-recommended immunizations. Some are so strict that personal beliefs are no exemption, meaning the child must be vaccinated not unless there is a medical contraindication. The reason behind the school entry vaccination law is for prevention of contagious diseases that can easily be transmitted from child to child. Furthermore, the immunity of a child is not as strong as that of an adult, and this is when they are most vulnerable.
♠ Protects future generations: Vaccines have reduced or even eliminated several diseases that killed or caused severe disabilities a few generations ago. For example, smallpox, a disease that holds a unique place in human health and medicine, was once one of the deadliest diseases. It caused more than 300 million deathsin the 20th century alone. Now, that remains in history books- the disease was eradicated since Edward Jenner came up with a smallpox vaccine.
Another example is polio, a paralyzing disease that affects the nervous system. Before the 50s, thousands of children were affected, left lame and paralyzed. For some, the respiratory muscles were damaged, and they could not breathe. To save lives, they were put on the iron lung machine. Today, all these practices all but gone, made redundant by oral and injectable polio vaccines.
If we continue vaccinating our children, we will eradicate more and more diseases, and parents of the future can trust that their children will be safer.
♠ Contribute to community immunity and help keep everyone free from disease. When a significant portion of population or community is vaccinated, it makes it hard for an infection to spread as there are less susceptible people left to infect. To keep everyone safe, it is therefore essential for us to follow the recommended vaccination safe- from young to the aged.
How Do Vaccines Work?
Vaccines are like a coach/trainer to the immune system. They prep the body to fight disease without necessarily exposing one to the disease symptoms. In normal circumstances, pathogens like bacteria and viruses enter the body, invade and result in sickness. Vaccines show the immune system what the antigen of the disease looks like, and it responds by producing antibodies. These antibodies break down, and immune cells known as memory cells remain in the system. The next time the body faces that particular invader, the memory cells will strike fast before it is too late.
The difference between vaccines and the actual pathogens (disease-causing microorganisms) is that they (vaccines) are made of dead or weakened antigens that are enough to induce an immunological response but not an infection. Because they are weakened, most vaccines require more than a single dose to provide complete immunity or the best immune response.
Take for instance, when you take your baby for vaccination against the bacteria that causes
meningitis, the pediatrician or health care provider will give the first dose and then give you an appointment for more booster doses. These booster doses are meant to strengthen the immune response since the immunity may begin to wear off if the baby only gets one dose.
Furthermore, vaccines like the flu shot, the child may need to get vaccinated annually. This is because the flu-causing viruses keep on mutating (changing) from year to year. Experts, therefore, develop vaccines that are specific to the circulating viruses at the time. The video shows how the vaccine work.
Are Vaccines Safe?
The answer is simple- vaccines are very safe and effective. They are given to millions and millions of children globally, and as seen above, they have significantly contributed to a commendable decline in child mortalities. Vaccines are subjected to very high manufacturing and safety standards. Every licensed and recommended vaccine jab goes through years of safety testing by the Food and Drug Administration (CDC) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Approval of a single vaccine can take up to 10 years.
Furthermore, the vaccines are continually followed up after they have been administered to infants, children or adults. If for instance, you take your baby for vaccination and an adverse reaction occurs, the person in charge will report then the whole batch of that specific vaccine is recalled back for a reevaluation.
Some people believe that vaccines may cause harm, but the bottom line is refusing or delaying vaccination only leads to a higher risk of harm.
Do Vaccines Have Any Side Effects?
The baby may experience some side effects following vaccination. These side effects last no more than a couple of days, and the baby recovers without any complications. They are also mostly related to the injection and not necessarily the vaccine itself.
- Pain, redness, and/or swelling at the injection site.
- Sore arm or leg where the shot was given
- Mild body hotness (mild fever)
- Loss of appetite
- Irritability and long periods of crying
- Extra fussiness
Allergic and adverse reactions are extremely rare. If you are worried about the ingredients of vaccines, then you better stay calm because hardly ever do they have an allergen. The most important part of the vaccine is the antigen, which may be a tiny dose of weakened or killed bacteria, virus or toxin. Other ingredients may include:
- Adjuvants such as aluminum hydroxide, aluminum sulfate, and potassium aluminumsulfate. They help strengthen the immune response to the vaccine. The amount of aluminum is negligible and is less than what is in most milk formulas and breastmilk.
- Preservatives which protect the vaccine from contamination by harmful bacteria or fungi. A tiny amount of alcohol is mostly used for preservation. Although a small amount of mercury was used in the past, it is no longer used in the current practice.
- Stabilizersare added to prevent the vaccine from sticking to the containers, syringe or needle. Sugars and oils are the most common stabilizers.
- Diluent which is usually sterile water or saline. Diluents are added to ensure that the baby gets even the smallest doses of the vaccine.
All these ingredients have also been tested for safety. However, in case your child gets a reaction that you feel is unexpected, seek medical guidance straight away. Remember your child relies on you for protection and you are the best advocate for their health.
The Vaccination Journey of Your Child: from Pregnancy to Adulthood
- During pregnancy
Protecting your baby should begin when you are planning to conceive. Meaning that you should get jabs right from the preconception period. In pregnancy, the immune response of the mother is lowered, in order to prevent immunological rejection of the growing fetus. These changes alter the susceptibility of a woman and the fetus to certain infectious diseases. Mothers can pass these infections to the fetus and in the same way, can pass antibodies, which strengthens immunity until few months after birth.
The World Health Organization recommends that pregnant women and those planning to get pregnant should receive specific vaccines to protect the fetus and themselves potentially. Generally, vaccines with inactivated antigens (bacteria and viruses) can be safely administered, but those with live antigens are contraindicated. It is because live disease-causing microorganisms are capable of crossing the placental barrier and consequently infect the fetus.
According to the CDC, the vaccines to receive before pregnancy (a month or more prior)
are measles, mumps, and rubella. However, more than 50% of pregnancies are unplanned, and so, most people do not get these preconception jabs. During pregnancy, two vaccines are routinely recommended- flu (influenza) and tetanus, reduced diphtheria toxoid and acellular pertussis (Tdap)
- Flu– Pregnant women are seven more times more likely to come down with severe flu than non-pregnant women. Catching flu when pregnant increases the chances of serious problems such as premature labor and delivery. The jab is recommended during the flu season, typically between November and March. The vaccine is made from an inactivated virus and is thus very safe for you and the baby.
- Tdap- one dose of Tdap is recommended between 27 and 36 weeks of pregnancy (regardless of whether one had received a shot before pregnancy or not). It protects the child against whooping cough and neonatal tetanus.
When traveling, you may need additional vaccines such as Hepatitis B. Talk to your healthcare provider when making travel plans, so they can outline the risks and benefits of any vaccines that you may need.
Vaccines to avoid in pregnancy include
- Chickenpox (varicella) vaccine
- Measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine
- Varicella-zoster vaccine
- Oral and inactivated polio vaccines
- Oral typhoid
- Yellow fever
- Infants and children (from birth to 6 years)
This period covers right from early life when the baby is most vulnerable to when they are exposed to potentially life-threatening diseases in adulthood.
- At birth, the first dose of hepatitis B vaccine is administered. However, it may be delayed for infants with complications or low birth weight, until at one month or when discharged from the hospital. If the mother had hepatitis B in pregnancy, the vaccine is given within 12 hours.
- 1 to 2 months the second dose of hepatitis B is administered.
- 2 months the baby receives the first doses of rotavirus, DPT (diphtheria, pertussis, and tetanus), Hemophilus influenza type b (Hb), pneumococcal and inactivated poliovirus vaccines.
- 4 months the baby gets the second repeat doses of rotavirus, DPT, Hb, pneumococcal and inactivated poliovirus vaccines. They are exactly the same as month 2.
- 6 months the third booster doses of DPT and pneumococcal vaccines are given. The third doses of inactivated poliovirus and Hepatitis B may be given between 6 months and 18 months. Annual vaccination of flu (influenza) also begin at six months. MMR may be given as early as six months if the baby is traveling internationally. Otherwise, the first dose is recommended at 12 months.
- 1 year- when celebrating the first birthday, the child should get the third doses of Haemophilus influenza type b and pneumococcal vaccines. The first doses of MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella) and varicella are also given between the first year and 15 months. For the second dose of Hepatitis A, it can be given from one year to 23 months.
- 15 to 18 months will be time for the fourth dose of DPT
- 4 to 6 years the fifth and final dose of DPT is given. The fourth dose of inactivated poliovirus, a second dose of MMR and last dose of varicella are also administered.
- Preteens and teens
In addition to the vaccines mentioned below, the child should also be getting their flu shots
- 11 to 12 years is time for the first dose of meningococcal, Tdap and Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) vaccines. HPV is given two shots, 6 to 12 months apart. If there is a history of sexual abuse or assault HPV vaccine is best administered starting at nine years. For immunocompromised girls, three doses are given, instead of two doses.
- 16 years a booster dose of meningococcal vaccine is given.
- Teens at 16 to 18 years may receive a serogroup B meningococcal vaccine.
The Vaccines and the Diseases that They Prevent
♣ Hepatitis B vaccine
Hepatitis means an infection of the liver which is caused by a virus. The younger a child is, the higher the risk of developing a chronic hepatitis infection, and that is why vaccination is recommended within 24 hours of birth. There are two different types of hepatitis infection, depending on the duration of the infection- it can last anywhere from a few weeks to a lifelong illness. The acute type occurs within six months of exposure to the virus while the chronic form is long term. For infants, if they get a hepatitis infection, the highest chances are that it will be a chronic infection.
♣ Rotavirus vaccine
Rotavirus is a contagious virus that causes diarrhea in infants and young children. In fact, rotavirus was the leading cause of diarrheal illnesses before the vaccine was introduced in 2006. The virus is transmitted through shed feces that can be picked up from contaminated hands, food, water or objects. Observing hygiene together with proper handwashing with soap and running water will, therefore, help alongside the vaccine. The vaccine is a liquid that is given by mouth, rather than as an injection.
♣ Diphtheria, Pertussis, and tetanus (DTaP) vaccine
DTaP is given as an injection that covers three diseases. Diptheria is mostly spread through respiratory droplets from coughing and sneezing, though it can also be spread through skin contact and contaminated clothes. The infection causes a build-up of a thick gray coating that covers the voice box, throat, tonsils and nasal tissue, resulting in difficulty in breathing and swallowing.
Pertussis (whooping cough) is highly contagious and quite dangerous to children. The bacteria that causes the disease clings to the respiratory system lining and causes severe inflammation. The child gets cold-like symptoms, but after a week or two, severe coughing begins and continues for up to 10 weeks or more.
Tetanus, also referred to as lockjaw, results either because the mother was not immune (through vaccination) or through an unhealed umbilical cord stump and especially when the cord was separated with an unsterilized blade. This is a medical emergency that requires immediate hospitalization and aggressive treatment.
♣ Haemophilus Influenza type B vaccine
Also called the Hib vaccine, it prevents Hemophilus influenza type b infection, which is responsible for severe pneumonia, meningitis and other invasive diseases of the heart and bones. Hib vaccine is given as an injection two to three doses before six months of age.
♣ Pneumococcal vaccine
The pneumococcal vaccine acts against streptococcus pneuomoniae bacteria, which causes pneumonia, meningitis, and sepsis. The vaccine is given as an injection or just under the skin for children aged two to 23 months. The American College of Physicians recommends revaccination at the age of 65 since the risk of pneumonia increases with age.
♣ Polio vaccine (inactivated)
There are two types of polio vaccines- the inactivate poliovirus given by injection and the weakened live poliovirus administered orally. The inactivated polio vaccine is very safe and is what is used in the United States. It protects against the three subtypes of poliovirus that cause poliomyelitis, a highly contagious disease that causes infantile paralysis.
♣ Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR) vaccine
MMR vaccine gives protection against three diseases. Measles is a common infection that
causes generalized body rash, cough, runny nose, eye redness and discharge, and body hotness. Although most of the times it does not complicate, sometimes it can cause ear complications, pneumonia, seizures, brain damage or even death.
Mumps, caused by a virus, causes fever, headache, muscle aching, and inflamed glands. It can easily complicate to loss of hearing, meningitis, and sterility. For rubella (German Measles), the child manifests with fever, tender nodes in the neck and behind the ears, and a rash that starts on the face and spread downward.
In pregnancy, a rubella infection can cause miscarriage, preterm birth, stillbirth and a wide variety of congenital disabilities. However, MMR vaccine is not safe in pregnancy. You should consider completing your routine immunizations a month or two before conception.
♣ Typhoid vaccine
The typhoid fever vaccine can be administered as from two years with a booster dose given two years later. It is also recommended for travelers to areas that are considered high-risk regions. Typhoid fever, an acute illness caused by Salmonella typhi, causes stomach pains, headache, and loss of appetite. If not treated, it can lead to complications of internal bleeding of the digestive system and perforation of the tract.
♣ Hepatitis A vaccine
For the best protection, the child should get two shots of Hepatitis A vaccine at 12 months through to 23 months. Hepatitis A infection in children below six years is usually a silent disease, meaning that it does not have symptoms. However, they often pass it to unvaccinated parents, caregivers and other children. In older children and adults, symptoms appear two to 6 weeks after the virus gets into the body. The symptoms may include fever, loss of appetite, fatigue, abdominal pain, yellow skin and eyes, vomiting and dark urine. There is no specific treatment- prevention by vaccination is the only way.
♣ Varicella vaccine
Varicella jab protects the child from chickenpox. Before 1888, chickenpox and smallpox were thought to be the same. Later, scientists differentiated the two in terms of causative microorganisms and clinical manifestations. Chickenpox causes an itchy rash with fluid-filled blisters that are brought about by varicella zoster virus.
The meningococcal vaccine gives protection against the bacteria that causes meningococcal diseases. These infections are not common, but when they occur, they can be dangerous. The bacteria can damage the lining of the brain and spinal cord or cause bloodstream infections. Even with treatment, 10 to 15 out of 100 people may die from the disease. The vaccine should be given to all 11 to 12-year-olds and the second shot at 16.
♣ Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) vaccine
The Human Papilloma Virus is mainly important because it causes cancer of the cervix in women. More than 10,000 women in the United States alone get cervical cancer each year, and out of those, about 3,700 die from it. These statistics make cervical cancer the second leading cause of gynecological cancer deaths after breast cancer. HPV is also responsible for genital warts and warts of the upper respiratory tract.
HPV vaccine protects women from four major types of the virus. Two of the main types are responsible for 70% cases of cervical cancer while the other two are responsible for 90% of genital warts. The vaccine is routinely recommended for girls between 11 and 12 years, but it can be given as early as nine years. It is very important for girls to get the vaccine before their first sexual contact before exposure to HPV (since HPV is sexually transmitted) and if this happens, the girl gets almost 100% protection.
The Doctor’s Visit: 3 Tips for a Less-dramatic Visit
Many parents dread the visit to the pediatrician for those painful pricks. Watching your child frightened or hurting is not easy at all, but it has to be done- they are the only way to protect the child from deadly diseases. You will be the designated distractor and comforter, so you have to stay on top of things to make it stress-free for the baby, healthcare provider and yourself.
Here are some steps to take to make it easier:
- Get prepared and prep the child
Before the day of the visit, read about the vaccines that your child is due for so that you will be in the know of what to expect. Learn about the benefits and expected side effects. Write down any questions that you may have, for a professional to answer- do not be afraid of asking them at the doctor’s office.
Once you understand all that is needed, explain it to the child- if old enough to understand.
Let the child see that vaccines are a good thing that keeps them healthy. Tell them that it can be slightly painful, but it does not hurt for long. Avoid telling scary stories or threaten the child with shots. For example, do not say, “if you do not behave well, I will tell the nurse to give you a shot.” Make it a family affair by engaging other family members, especially older kids that have already had the vaccinations.
Ensure that you have the immunization records with you and have it updated every time a jab is given. An updated immunization record is the most accurate way of telling the doctor or nurse the vaccine that is due- hospitals have their own records, but at times you may be visiting a new doctor or hospital. Moreover, the immunization records are critical for enrolling a child in daycare, preschool, summer camps or when traveling internationally. Other things to bring are the child’s favorite stuffed animal or toy, book, or an elder sibling for support.
- Provide reassurance, distraction, and comfort
Once you get to the doctor’s office and its time to get the shot, hold the baby firmly on your lap- neither hold the child too tightly as you will cause anxiety nor so loose that they can easily slip away from the needle. If a child is too young, hold them directly on your lap with their side against yours. Then wrap your arm around their outer arm to provide a gentle but firm hug. Use the other arm to hold down the leg or arm. If the child is older, you may hold their legs firmly between your thighs.
You can distract the child by hugging, singing or talking in a soft voice. Also, smile and maintain eye contact to let the child know that everything is alright. Once the doctor is done, use a soothing voice to give praises and reassurance. If the child cries the entire time, do not scold them but remind them that the pain will only last shortly. For an infant, cuddle as you breastfeed or offer a bottle. For those above six months, give a sweet beverage like juice.
For older children, help them to take deep breathes and blow out the pain- let them imagine the pain leaving as they breathe out. You can also read stories or show their favorite pictures. If there are exciting things in the room and wall, point them out and let the child explain what they are.
After the shot, remember to schedule the next visit and have the immunization record updated. Also, ask about the expected side effects and whether you can use a painkiller (non-aspirin is preferred).
- Dealing with the side effects
Pain, rash, and fever are some of the commonest expected side effects. They are common but go away in a day or two. For the injection site, use a wet cloth to reduce soreness, redness, and swelling. If the redness increases after 24 hours, you will need to call the doctor. If the child gets a fever, cool it off with a sponge bath and follow the doctor’s advice on the use of antipyretics and pain relievers (acetaminophen and ibuprofen). Note that experts do not recommend giving these drugs beforehand as they can interfere with the immune response. Also, offer plenty of fluids and dress lightly. A bowl of ice cream will go a long way too.
The child will be fussier than usual, but it is normal because of the pain, and it’s actually an encouraging sign that the vaccine is working. Again, if it lasts more than a day or the child cries for more than 3 hours, call for medical help. Note that some of these signs and symptoms could be possibly not related to the vaccine. If you feel that the child is not okay, call the doctor immediately.
Tracking Your Child’s Vaccination Journey
Always have in mind that vaccines work best when they are given on time. Delaying the vaccination visits because you forgot or any other lame excuse is therefore not a good thing for the child. Keeping track of upcoming vaccine visits is then a critical thing to do. Other than immunization records that you get from the doctor, you may also use other fun and interactive methods.
Mobile phone applications are a perfect example. With an application, you can get
comprehensive information of all vaccines, get automatic reminders when it is time to get a jab, and you get a platform for you to carry your baby’s immunization information wherever you go. Other applications are so advanced that they can sync the patient version of the app with the doctor’s app. The user can then interact with the doctor and get real-time feedback.
You can also consider using a special chart or calendar that older children can actively participate in tracking. It has dates when the previous jabs were given and the upcoming ones. Hang it on a particular corner or even in the child’s bedroom. Every time that the child gets a jab, they can mark it as given by sticking their favorite images, shading stars or writing their how it felt after the vaccine was administered.
Vaccine Myths Busted
According to a study done by the University of Michigan, 93% of pediatricians say that they have encountered at least one parent who refused vaccination for their child in the past one year. The refusal of vaccines relies on multiple factors such as cultural, emotional, religious and social issues. Despite the fact that many experts and medical organizations like the WHO and CDC have availed scientific research and proof of safety of vaccines, many parents continue to rely on unscientific controversies to refuse vaccines.
Some of those vaccine myths include:
- Major illnesses have largely disappeared, and so there is no need to get children vaccinated. Although the United States enjoy vaccination coverage of more than 90%,many communities still experience disease outbreaks that can last for weeks or months. Moreover, diseases can be spread by foreign travelers and children are the most susceptible.
- Vaccines cause autism, allergies, and asthma.There have been concerns about the MMR vaccine causing autism. However, multiple expert committees have reviewed all original scientific evidence linking autism to vaccination and found no association at all.
- Vaccines have preservatives that may cause harm.The commonest preservative that is used is a very small amount of alcohol, which is absolutely safe. In the past, ethylmercury was used in preservation, but this is not the case in the current medical practice. Even so, ethylmercury does not pause the same health hazards like methylmercury, which is what causes brain damage.
- A sick child should not get vaccinated. It is quite reasonable to think that a child with a cold or mildly ill is more likely to have a bad reaction to vaccines. However, studies show that having a mild illness does not affect the child’s ability to induce an appropriate immune response. So, do not delay vaccination for this reason- let the doctor decide whether to give the vaccine or not.
- Too many vaccinations will overwhelm the child’s immune response. According to the CDC vaccination schedule, by the time the child turns two years old, they should have received more than 20 shots. This may sound too much, but it should be the least of every parent’s worry. The child has the capacity to respond to all these immune reactions safely.
- The natural immune response is better than the acquired immunity introduced by vaccines. Some parents argue that waiting for the child to get the disease naturally is better than giving the vaccine. Remember that getting the disease itself can cause serious health complications. Take for instance chickenpox- if you wait for the child to get chickenpox naturally, it can come when it is more than an itch. A child can complicate to severe pneumonia or brain damage. Moreover, some diseases like polio have no treatment. Once the disease sets in, the complications are lifelong.
Bottom Line of Vaccines
Seth Berkely the Chief Executive of GAVI, The Vaccine Alliance once said, “The return on investment in global health is tremendous, and the biggest bang for the buck comes from vaccines. Vaccines are among the most successful and cost-effective health investments in history.” Vaccines are truly a very important part of family and public health. They have made it possible to eradicate some of the deadliest diseases. Getting your child vaccinated provides a buildup of antibodies before the child falls sick. This way, the child does not heave to experience a full-blown infection with severe symptoms. Vaccination is, therefore, one of the best and effective ways to protect your loved ones.