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Three Things You Might Not Know About Immunizations

Most parents are aware that immunizations are important and that immunizations for school are required. You may have studied your child’s immunization schedule, or simply left it to Glendale pediatrics doctors to proceed with the standard schedule. Either way, it’s good to know a bit about why we immunize, and how important it is to take your child in to your Glendale pediatrics doctors for their scheduled vaccines.

1. Immunizations Work Because of Group Immunity

Many parents wonder why it’s necessary to vaccinate their child against an illness like Polio, which seems eradicated. Take a leaky boat as an analogy. When a country begins immunizing against a widespread disease, it is like bailing water out of a boat that is half full and sinking. After much effort and over time, the boat may have only a small puddle in the bottom. But, bailing water does not fix the leak, so if you throw the bucket overboard, the boat will eventually fill with water again.

Diseases, unfortunately, do not go away. One person with the flu shot may not get sick, but everyone who didn’t get the flu shot can still spread the disease. When most everyone in a society is vaccinated, a disease will have no place to gain a foothold, and will not spread. This protects those for whom the immunization was not successful, or those who can’t receive vaccines, like newborn babies. This is the concept of herd or group immunity, and it is why vaccines work to prevent disease.

2. Measles Are On the Rise

2014 has seen a record number of measles cases in the U.S. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there have been 18 outbreaks and 592 cases so far this year, in 21 states. This underscores how important it is to stay up-to-date with your child’s immunizations for school.

3. Importance of Flu Shots

Did you know that every year thousands of people die of influenza? Young children can be especially vulnerable, so it is important to consider flu shots. The flu virus changes and each year flu shots contain different strains, so it is important to vaccinate annually, preferably in the fall. It takes several weeks for flu shots to take effect in the body.

Ask your Glendale pediatrics doctor about whether the nasal or injection flu shots are most appropriate for your child. You can also ask about which are immunizations for school and which immunizations are considered optional, like the flu shot.

Posted in Blog on September 26th, 2014