Baby Immunizations

Immunizations and Vaccinations

Immunization is the most important way to protect children against serious diseases. There are strong arguments for and against immunising your child. Your doctor and health centre can help you come to a decision about immunising. Finally the decision is yours but it is always good to explore the options and settle down for what is easier on both you and your child.

How does immunization work?

Children, not immunized, are at risks of becoming infected with serious diseases. Immunizations work by naturally using the power of the body’s own immune system to battle against diseases.

No alternatives to immunization

There are no effective alternatives to immunization for protection against serious and deadly diseases. Breastfeeding can help to prevent some diseases among babies, but it is not effective in preventing the serious diseases that immunizations do.

Immunizations against the following diseases:

Diphtheria, easily spread through coughing or sneezing, can cause paralysis, breathing and heart problems, and death.

Tetanus

(Lockjaw) occurs when a tetanus germ enters a cut or wound and it can cause muscle spasms, breathing and heart problems, and death.

Pertussis

(Whooping Cough), spread through coughing or sneezing, causes very long spells of coughing, lung problems, seizures, brain damage and death.

Hepatitis B

is an infection of the liver and passes from an infected mother to her newborn during childbirth. The hepatitis B virus can cause liver damage, liver cancer and death.

Hib

Disease can cause meningitis (inflammation of the brain), infections of the joints, skin and blood, brain damage, and death.

Measles

spread easily and causes a high fever, rash, and cold-like symptoms. It can lead to hearing loss, pneumonia, brain damage, and even death.

Mumps

spreads easily and can cause headache, fever, swelling of the glands of the jaw and neck, and swelling of the testicles in adolescents and adults.

Rubella

(German Measles) causes a slight fever and a rash on the face and neck and spreads from mom to baby.

Polio

causes fever and may progress to meningitis and/or lifelong paralysis and the virus preads through stools.

Varicella

(chickenpox) is a very contagious disease causing rash and fever. It is spread by coughing and sneezing or direct contact with drainage from the rash.

Immunizations Prevent the Spread of Disease

The spread of the above diseases is prevented through immunizations. Many of the children who survive could suffer from chronic health problems for the rest of their lives.

Vaccines may not work

Children sometimes do not accept the vaccines because the child may not be compatible with the vaccine or because the vaccine was not properly stored and had lost its effectivenes.