The World Health Organization (WHO) has designated April 24-30 as World Immunization Week to raise awareness about the role immunisation plays in our future well being. We at Practo wanted to say that it is incredibly important to make sure that the children around you have been vaccinated. They need all the help they can get, to live the rest of their years in the peak of health.
We have Dr.Poonam Sambhaji, a pediatrician from Goa, who was kind to compile information on Immunisation and why it’s so important.
We’ve planned a series of blog posts about this, so read on for the first one.
As a parent, you may not like seeing your child being given an injection. However, vaccination is an important step in protecting your child against a range of serious and potentially fatal diseases.
Our body’s natural defence against infection is called immunity. When we get an infection, our bodies produce chemicals called antibodies to fight it. After an infection we are usually immune to that virus or bacterium and the immunity may last for life.
We can cause the same immunity, without getting the full-blown disease or infection, by using immunisations, also called vaccinations. Immunisations, which are usually given by injection, work by introducing a very dilute version of the disease into our bodies. They don’t actually cause us to have the disease. Our bodies create antibodies in response to the immunisation, protecting us from the disease.
More than two centuries have passed since the first successful vaccine for smallpox was developed. We’ve come a long way since. Today’s vaccines are among the 21st century’s most successful and cost-effective public health tools for preventing disease and death. Thanks to immunizations, debilitating and often fatal diseases like polio, that were once common, are now only distant memories even in India now. The day won’t be far when India will be declared Polio free.
The goal of vaccination is to help reduce the likelihood of vaccine-preventable diseases by making sure children, seniors and everyone in between receive the vaccines they need. The Government and Public as such should assure that:
• All children have access to vaccines;
• Health care providers are aware of immunization standards of practice;
• The latest recommendations on new vaccines are available to healthcare providers;
• Health care providers and the public have up-to-date answers to vaccine-realted questions.
Currently there are vaccines available to protect children and adults against at least 17 diseases, which cause serious afflictions such as paralysis, loss of hearing, infertility and even death.
• Hepatitis A
• Hepatitis B
• Haemophilus Influenzae Type B (Hib)
• Human Papillomavirus (HPV)
• Varicella (Chickenpox)Make sure you catch our next post, where we talk about these diseases and how you can prevent them.