Posts for tag: Immunizations
Immunizations are a crucial and necessary part of you and your child’s life. Not only can vaccinations protect your child against potentially deadly illnesses, but they can protect others, too. Learn more about how immunizations work and why they are so important to every child’s health with Dr. Oscar Sugastti and Dr. Griselda Meza at AAA Pediatrics in Woodbridge, VA.
What is immunization?
It is important to understand the terminology surrounding immunization to help understand it fully. Immunization is the act of creating immunity to a disease or infection. A vaccine is a substance injected into the body which makes it immune to the illness. Doctors inject the vaccine with a shot, usually in their office.
Why are immunizations so important?
Immunizations save lives. The diseases they prevent were once highly-feared and posed a large risk to people all over the world. However, access to vaccines has dramatically decreased these diseases’ presence in today’s society. Vaccines also prevent illness in those who cannot be vaccinated. People who are immunocompromised or who have certain medical conditions may not be able to be immunized. Additionally, newborns cannot receive their first round of vaccines until they are about three months old. However, if the people around them are vaccinated, they are never exposed to these illnesses, keeping them safe and healthy. This is referred to as “herd immunity,” and plays a critical role in the overall health of people everywhere.
Immunizations in Woodbridge, VA
Vaccinating your child ensures that they stay free from diseases which were once highly feared, such as polio, measles, hepatitis, influenza, and whooping cough — and helps unvaccinated people remain healthy, too. Following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention-suggested vaccination schedule for children from birth contributes to their health for the rest of their lives.
For more information on childhood immunizations, please contact Dr. Oscar Sugastti and Dr. Griselda Meza at AAA Pediatrics in Woodbridge, VA. Call (703) 580-6400 to schedule your appointment with your child’s pediatrician today!
The importance of immunizations
Childhood immunizations are one of the most important safeguards against communicable diseases and their serious, long-term complications. Your pediatrician closely adheres to the vaccination schedules published by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Why? Well, there's nothing more important than your youngster's health and well-being, and immunizations effectively guard them.
Just what is an immunization?
Most immunizations are given as "shots," or injections, but some, such as the Rotavirus vaccine, are oral medications. However administered, vaccines boost your child's immune system in its battle against diseases which easily spread from person to person.
Each vaccine contains a small amount of a killed or weakened micro-organisms. These altered viruses or bacteria raise the body's defenses against a particular illness such as chicken pox. pneumonia, polio, tetanus, and more...up to 14 in all by time your child is two years old, says the CDC.
Are immunizations necessary?
Your pediatrician, his or her colleagues and decades of research prove that vaccines protect the health of individual children and of the community at large. Also called herd immunity, community immunity works best when as many babies and youngsters receive all their "shots" on schedule. Community immunity protects youngsters who cannot receive vaccines because of cancer treatment, HIV infection or other serious reason. It also shields the general population when people travel from countries which cannot provide access to these important medications.
Both the AAP and the CDC publish and recommend set vaccine schedules carried out at well-baby and well-child visits at the doctor's office. In addition, there is a "catch-up" schedule for children who have begun their immunizations late or had them interrupted by illness or other serious concern.
Your pediatrician's services
They're so important. Your child's doctor keeps your child's immunization records and can distribute them to schools, camps, college, sports, daycare and other organizations who require proof of up-to-date vaccines. The doctor also monitors your child for any adverse reactions, although typically, vaccines produce no more than:
- Localized redness and soreness at the injection site
- Low grade fever
- Pain and swelling
Getting your child vaccinated is a surefire way to protect them from serious and potentially life-threatening health issues.
While most local schools recommend or require that children get vaccinated prior to entering, it’s also important that you understand the importance of getting your child vaccinated. We know vaccines are no walk in the park, especially for parents of fearful children, but our Woodbridge, VA, pediatricians Dr. Oscar Sugastti and Dr. Griselda Meza are here to try and make the visits as easy as possible. Plus, protecting your child against serious life-threatening illnesses seems like a no-brainer.
Immunizations for Children (birth through 6 years old)
While our Woodbridge, VA, children’s doctors will keep you up to date on when you and your little one need to come in for vaccines, it’s still important that you also know how often your child should be coming in for treatment. Here are some of the recommended vaccines your child should get from birth to about 6 years old.
- Hepatitis A & B
- Diphtheria, tetanus & pertussis
- H. influenzae type b
- Inactivated poliovirus
- Influenza (flu)
- Measles, mumps and rubella
Children will come in at birth, 1-2 months old, 4 months old, 6 months old, 12 months old, 15 months old, 18 months old, 19-23 months old, 2-3 years old and 4-6 years old for vaccines.
Immunizations for Children and Teens (7 years old to 18 years old)
Teen and pre-teens will also have their fair share of vaccines. A lot of the vaccines will be the same as the ones above but there are also some new ones to consider like the HPV (human papillomavirus) vaccine, which could protect against serious health issues like throat and cervical cancers. Talk to us about whether your child should get the HPV vaccine. Older children and teens will also need to get the meningococcal vaccine.
Your teen or preteen will come in at:
- 7-8 years
- 9-10 years
- 11-12 years
- 13-15 years
- 16-18 years
If you need to schedule your child’s upcoming visit to AAA Pediatrics in Woodbridge, VA, or if you have questions about their immunization schedule, don’t hesitate to reach out to us anytime!
It's been nearly twenty years since a single case of polio has been reported in the United States. Smallpox has been a distant memory in our country since the late 1940's, and the rest of the world hasn't seen an outbreak since the 1970's. Less than a dozen rubella, or German measles, cases here are reported annually. With these diseases greatly reduced or even eradicated, many parents ask practitioners at AAA Pediatrics in Woodbridge, VA, "Should my child even get vaccinated?" In a word, yes. Dr. Oscar Sugastti and Dr. Griselda Meza explain the importance of maintaining vaccination standards here:
Diseases can "hitch a ride"
While we have been fortunate in the United States to have virtually eliminated dangerous childhood diseases - like polio, diptheria and pertussis - other countries have not been able to maintain the same public health standards. This means people who travel to the United States from the countries that still deal with these diseases may unknowingly bring germs with them. There are also pockets of communities in America where modern medicine is forbidden. Those who are vulnerable or not vaccinated and come into contact with a carrier can be stricken with life-threatening illnesses as a result - illnesses that most pediatricians, including those at AAA Pediatrics in Woodbridge, have never had to treat.
"Herd immunity" isn't the answer
Many parents who are skeptical about vaccines believe that their unvaccinated children will be protected from disease by those who have received the recommended schedule of vaccines. This idea of "herd immunity" only works if the amount of vaccinated people in the population is over 95%. Unfortunately, with anti-vaccination propaganda on the rise, that percentage isn't applicable country-wide, with 26 states not meeting that standard as of 2014. Almost all kindergarteners (99.7%) in Mississippi, for example, have had the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine. In Colorado, however, only 82% of kindergarteners have received it. The issue of "traveling diseases" comes back into play at this point.
The link between vaccines and autism?
Several years ago, a British study suggested there was a link between the ingredients in the combination MMR vaccine and autism, a developmental disorder causing lifelong social and mental problems. Despite the fact many other studies since have debunked this idea, it persists and frightens parents into avoiding vaccinations. Your Woodbridge pediatrician, like others in his field, believes this may be due to the fact that the symptoms of autism - in vaccinated children or otherwise - begin to develop at around a year old, the same time that the MMR vaccine is given. The correlation is simply coincidence.
If you'd like to talk with Dr. Sugastti or Dr. Griselda Meza, further about vaccines for your children, we encourage you to give AAA Pediatrics in Woodbridge, VA a call to set up an appointment!