When your child has an infection, the immune system fights it off and remembers the details for future. This makes the immune system stronger in warding off the infection.
A vaccine also creates a similar type of memory in your child’s immune system, without the need of an actual illness.
When you vaccinate your child, the body produces antibodies, a type of protein that can recognize and fight off bacteria or virus that cause infection. This helps to remove the virus and bacteria from the body, even before they can cause any infection or illness.
Common illnesses prevented by vaccines
While not all illnesses are common, the vaccines are still important to prevent an outbreak. Here are some of the most common illnesses that are prevented with proper vaccination.
- Diphtheria: It is a condition where the throat is covered in a thick coating, making it almost impossible to breathe.
- Pertussis: It causes severe coughing which can interfere with your child’s eating, breathing and even sleep. This is also referred to as whooping cough.
- Tetanus: This is also known as lockjaw. It is a condition that leads to muscle spasm, which can make it difficult for your child to breathe. In severe cases, it can also lead to seizure or paralysis, and even death.
- Measles: This causes very high fever, infection in the brain as well as pneumonia. It also causes rashes across the body.
- Mumps: This can lead to very high fever, body ache, headache, hearing problems, deafness in severe cases, swelling in the glands and pain and swelling in ovaries and testes.
- Rubella: Also known as German measles, it can lead to severe birth defects if the mother contracts it during pregnancy.
- Polio: Polio can lead to paralysis or extreme weakness in the limbs. Even if the child recovers for the time being, the symptoms can return and cause the same problems.
- Rotavirus: This spreads easily and causes severe diarrhoea.
- Pneumococcal disease: This can cause ear infection, pneumonia, meningitis and various other infections.
- Varicella: Also known as chicken pox, it causes severe rashes on the body and can also lead to pneumonia and swelling in the brain.
Seeing your baby get vaccinated can be a difficult experience, but these are extremely important for your child’s overall health. Speak to your baby’s paediatrician about these vaccines to know more.