These testing times have left us all very confused especially with decisions around kids’ health and education. With different theories floating around the market and new research happening every day, making a choice gets difficult especially when it comes to the wellbeing of our tiny tots. While a lot of activities can be postponed, some of them can’t and should not be – booster vaccines being one of them. I’ve had a long discussion with our daughter Anamta’s pediatrician and she was of the same opinion that it is very risky to delay booster vaccines.
We all know vaccines and boosters are essential to prevent against deadly diseases. And even throughout these testing times, we’ve ensured timely administration and maintained our daughter Anamta’s vaccination folder well.
Not vaccinating your child or skipping booster shots puts him or her at risk for illnesses and also opens the door for preventable diseases to emerge and spread.
Are vaccine booster shots necessary?
Vaccinations have been one of the greatest health achievements so far. They have reduced and, in some instances, eradicated diseases!
Booster shots are follow-up vaccines given at a designated time after the initial series of that vaccination was received. The purpose of booster shots is to increase the body’s immunity to a particular disease at a time when the initial vaccine may start to wear off. Without booster shots, the protective effects of some vaccines can begin to wane, leaving your child more exposed to potential disease. However, by keeping a child up to date with his or her booster shots you can ensure that he or she will be protected against preventable illnesses and infections.
The truth is the benefits of vaccines, far outweigh any potential risks.
Why is Diphtheria, Tetanus, and Pertussis (DTP) vaccine important?
Diphtheria is a serious infection of the throat that may block the airway and cause severe breathing issues.
Tetanus (lockjaw): A nerve disease that can happen at any age, caused by toxin-producing bacteria contaminating a wound.
Pertussis (whooping cough): A respiratory illness with cold-like symptoms that leads to severe coughing (the “whooping” sound happens when a baby breathes in deeply after a severe coughing fit). Serious complications can affect children under one year, and those younger than 6 months are especially at risk. Teens and adults with a lasting cough may have pertussis and not realize it, and could pass it to vulnerable infants.
DTP is for children younger than 7 years old. Babies need 3 shots of DTP to build up high levels of protection against diphtheria, tetanus, and whooping cough. Then, young children need 2 booster shots to maintain that protection through early childhood. Special attention should be given to vaccinating preschoolers as those little explorers are more susceptible to infections, blame it on their curious minds and their little inventions.
Our role as parents:
- Discuss with the doctor: It is not only important to check if a particular vaccine requires a booster shot, but also to know when it is needed and to stick by the timeline.
- Set reminders: Ask your doctor’s office if it has a reminder or recall system. This type of system will call to remind you when vaccinations/boosters are due and will warn you if any has been missed. I always get a message from the doctors to set up an appointment for the next vaccination.
- Update records: Always carry the vaccination record with you to the doctors and make sure the doctor signs and dates every vaccination
- Be prepared: Common side effects of immunizations include swelling at the site of the injection, soreness, and fever. Discuss these side effects with your doctor and ask what symptoms are worrisome. This helps the parents and the child deal with side effects (if any).
- Check with your kids’ schools: Children are not only at risk of getting sick themselves, but they can also spread illness to others who aren’t protected. Hence, it’s important for schools to admit kids who are vaccinated. A general discussion with the school might be healthy.
As informed parents, we’ve made sure that our little one has been administered age based DTP vaccines to build a healthy ecosystem as she starts her prenursery soon.
If you haven’t already, please check with your health care provider at the earliest.
Stay safe, Stay Healthy!
Your child’s DTP booster vaccination is a must. #DontWaitVaccinate and know more about the Right DTP vaccine.
The views expressed in the blog content are independent and unbiased views of solely the blogger. This is a part of the public awareness initiative supported by Sanofi Pasteur India. Sanofi Pasteur India bears no responsibility for the content of the blog. One should consult their healthcare provider for any health-related information.