Immunising your new baby through a programme of vaccinations helps create immunity against diseases and infections, which can be a serious threat to your child’s health, causing permanent disability and even death.
Thanks to modern vaccines, we do not see these diseases as often as we used to but they are still deadly. Newborn babies are especially vulnerable because their bodies have not built up the necessary defences to fight infection.
By following the prescribed programme of vaccinations, you will not only help protect your own child but those of other parents by preventing the spread of disease. A vaccination health record should be started at birth when your child receives his/her first vaccinations, and then updated with each additional vaccination. This document is an important element in his/her medical record and is very useful when your child enrolls in a school or if the family moves to a new area or country.
By starting immunisation at birth, most of the vaccinations will be completed by the age of two and your child will be protected from potential disease and infection, and their spread, when they start at a nursery or daycare center. It is always better to start the vaccinations at a young age, however, it is never too late to start and children can catch up with their vaccination programme.
How do vaccinations work?
When you get an infection, your body reacts by producing antibodies, which fight the disease and help you to get over your illness. They usually stay in your system even after the disease has gone and protect you from getting the same disease again; this is called ‘immunity’.
Newborn babies are immune to many diseases because they receive antibodies from their mothers but this immunity wears off within the first six months after birth. By vaccinating children, we can maintain their immunity to many diseases even after they lose their mother’s antibodies.
The vaccines themselves are developed by creating a variation in the disease in order to trick the body into thinking it is under attack by the disease. The body then reacts by producing antibodies, which then stay in the body so that if the child is eventually exposed to the real disease, he/she is then protected from it. Vaccines are generally safe and serious reactions are very rare. There can be side effects with any vaccination and the most common are fever or pain at the site of the injection. However, the risk from serious disease is far higher than from any reaction to a vaccination or any side effects, and so vaccines remain a vital part of the defence against disease and infection for your baby.
Today there are vaccines for almost all children’s illnesses. The Vaccinations and Immunizations we provide for newborn babies and small children include the following:
|2 months old||
|4 months old||
|6 months old||
|12 months old||
|18 months old||