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Immunization is essential not only to a child’s health, but to the health of everyone around them. When children are first born, their immune systems are powered primarily by the antibodies found in their mother’s breast milk. As growth occurs and weaning takes place, this form of immunity is no longer sufficient to prevent infection, and the child becomes vulnerable to a variety of pathogens without the ability to defend against them. Vaccines are a solution to this period of exposure that assumes the role of a mock-microbe attack to prepare the body for future invasions.
The essential objective of a vaccine is to elicit an immune response, effectively arming the body for an attack. The vaccination agent itself is non-living, thus will pose no real harm to the body. After the vaccination, the body will have long-term antibodies that remain in the blood, ready to target, destroy, and remove a particular pathogen if it ever comes in contact with its true and virulent form.
Many vaccines that are administered to children are designed to protect against some of the most vicious diseases currently known, many of which are painful, incurable, and debilitating ― often manifesting in a very short period of time. Vaccines are a quick, highly effective, and inexpensive way to protect your child from disease and prevent illness from spreading. There is really no substitute for proper vaccination and the risk taken by foregoing vaccination is huge and unnecessary.
Some vaccines are administered as a combination of several agents, designed to promote multiple immunity in a single injection. These include the DTaP (Diphtheria, Tetanus, and acellular Pertussis) vaccine and the MMR (Measles, Mumps, and Rubella) vaccine, both of which are given in the early years of life. Some vaccines may also require additional boosters in later years in order to keep the body’s immunity intact. Common immunizations for children include Hepatitis B (HBV), Hepatitis A (HAV), Poliovirus (IPV), Rotavirus (Rota), Haemophilus influenza type B (HiB), the Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine (PCV), and of course Varicella, better known as chickenpox.
The process of antibody production is a complex one, but it relies primarily on specific markers (known as antigens) on pathogens that designate them as foreign. By mimicking these markers, vaccines trick the body into creating a defense, stopping future invasions before any serious developments occur. Dyson Pediatrics has served Arizona residents for years, and is well regarded by children and their parents for its warm and caring environment. Our friendly staff thrives on keeping children healthy and treats every patient with respect and enthusiasm.
Dr. Duane Dyson is an experienced pediatrician in Arizona, dedicated to the health and happiness of your family. Please contact our Tucson, AZ office if you have any questions or concerns.