Immunizations, which may also be called “vaccinations,” are designed to help the child build immunity to infections that could endanger a child’s health. An immunization works by introducing a dead or weakened form of the pathogen into the patient’s body. The immune system produces antibodies to the pathogen, which gives the patient the tools they need to fight the pathogen off in the future.
Children should have a number of immunizations to protect them from illnesses they may encounter.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, patients should have the following immunizations during childhood:
Older children should also receive the immunization for human papillomavirus (HPV).
The CDC recommends that children receive their first immunizations at birth and in the first few months of life. Children should continue to receive the appropriate vaccinations into adulthood. Each immunization has its own recommended schedule. While some of these immunizations require a few doses in early childhood only, others will require boosters at regular intervals. For example, children should receive the influenza vaccine annually. Dr. Veras Pola can let parents know which immunizations should be administered at each appointment, if any.
In some cases, patients may not receive the immunizations they need at the appropriate time. If this occurs, Dr. Veras Pola can help the patient catch up with their peers. The CDC recommends specific catch-up schedules for patients who have missed their immunizations.
Immunizations are considered generally safe for children. However, immunizations do pose a small risk of complications and side effects, such as pain at the injection site, mild fever, and redness. In rare cases, patients may have an allergic reaction to an immunization. However, the risks associated with the diseases immunizations protect patients against are much more serious.
Dr. Veras Pola can administer some vaccinations in the form of a nasal spray or liquid. In such cases, patients won’t feel any pain. Immunizations that require an injection may feel like a small pinch.