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Vaccines and Children

Vaccination refers to the provision of immunity to infections by stimulating the immune system to develop adaptive protection against pathogens. Vaccination is not only essential but also paramount to children. Usually, the best way to protect teens, infants and children from harmful disease attacks is by vaccinating them. The Centre for Disease Control (CDC) recommends getting 28 doses of 10 vaccines for kids aged 0-6 years.

The first child vaccine was developed by Edward Jenner (1749–1823) who discovered a vaccine against smallpox. This was after the disease had killed myriads of people. The mortality rate for children was so high that a surge for cure was initiated. Since infants lack adequate immune system to shield them from diseases, they require additional boost to their immune system which can only be done through vaccination.

With time, scientists have devised several types of child vaccines including: Live attenuated, conjugate, taxoid and subunit vaccines. These vaccines are 99% effective. In actual sense, up to two million children can be saved from preventable diseases every year. This is according to a report issued by the UN Foundation. In a survey conducted between 1994 and 2014, it was estimated that child mortality rate had significantly reduced by 40% and that 732,000 children were saved from death while 322 million child illnesses cases had been curbed.

One of the most predominant merits of vaccines is the fact that they are absolutely safe and effective. Instances of people suffering from adverse side effects are usually unheard of. MMR vaccine for example, has been in existence since 1940 and is still in use even today.

Vaccines also cost less in time and money. These costs cannot be compared to the pricey medical and disabilities maintenance costs incurred in treating prolonged infectious diseases. Ideally, most side effects of vaccinations are mild and short-lived. According to Bardenheier, children may experience isolated complications such as, itches, headaches, nausea, dizziness, fatigue, mild rash and fainting.

As the adage goes, ‘Your health is your wealth!’ The future of children lies upon the status of their health. With the emergence of vaccines, myriad deadly diseases have been curbed and eliminated indefinitely! Precaution should therefore be taken early enough before an infectious disease storms in. The government through the ministry of health should also put in place measures that will ensure vaccines are administered to every child.


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