3 Things To Know Before Getting Your Child Vaccinated

4 min read

Child Getting Vaccinated

Whether you’re getting ready to get your child vaccinated or you’re still reluctant to do it, you should consider researching different factors that might affect your child. Perhaps, you can ask questions or voice your concerns about vaccines to a healthcare provider. With the overload of information available to us, learning the facts from experts is essential before deciding.

A vaccine is a preventive measure for many medical diseases. Although a baby has an innate immune system, there are still deadly diseases that they can’t handle like chickenpox, polio, etc. They’re exposed to thousands of germs every day that they need to strengthen their immune system through vaccination. Vaccines will reduce the risk of infection by helping their immune system to activate their antigens through recognition.

  1. Possible Side Effects Of The Vaccine

Vaccines can keep your child safe from many infectious diseases, but just like any medications or advances in medicine, they can experience some side effects. For the most part, they can experience minor side effects like a sore arm on the injection site or a low-grade fever which will go away within two to three days.

Some may experience sleepiness right after the injection, or some may have a small lump at the injection site, which can persist for weeks or months. The latter usually doesn’t require treatment. Knowing how to manage the common side effects will be helpful when you decide to vaccinate your child.

Here are some of the common treatments to reduce the side effects of the vaccine:

  • Give your child enough fluids to drink.
  • If they’re feeling hot, remove pieces of clothing to allow ventilation.
  • Place a cold, wet cloth over the injection site to ease their discomfort.
  • In case of persistent fever or pain, you can give them Paracetamol, but it shouldn’t be routinely used. Ask your doctor for the correct dosage and check the label.You can also ask your local pharmacist for more information.

Some children may experience a severe reaction after vaccination; that’s why it’s recommended to stay for at least 15 minutes to see if there’s further treatment required. Some examples of rare responses are:

  • Febrile seizure: this is the sudden increase of a child’s temperature.
  • Anaphylaxis: This is an immediate allergic reaction to the vaccine.
  • Guillain-Barré Syndrome: this rare disorder makes your immune system attack your nervous system. The cause of this syndrome is still unknown, but expert suggests that it may be triggered by undergoing surgery or after receiving vaccinations. Respiratory failures caused by GBS are also one of the complications of the disease.

If the reactions are persistent, contact a doctor to address concerns immediately as these can be fatal.

  1. Ingredients Of A Vaccine

Vaccines comprise active ingredients that trigger an immune response to viruses and bacteria. But to serve their purpose, they need to be mixed with other vital components to be effective and safe. The main ingredient in most vaccines is water added with an active ingredient and other stabilizers. All the ingredients are subjected to thorough assessments to ensure safety. They are delivered in safe quantities based on the safety standards set by the experts.

Here is the general list of the components of a vaccine:

  • Antigen: This is the biological component that makes the vaccines work. Usually, it can be an inactivated or weakened pathogen that’s used to trigger an immune response. It can also be composed of pathogen fragments like sugars and proteins or genetic instructions, also known as mRNA vaccines. These instruct our cells to make the antigens needed to fight off the pathogen.
  • Adjuvants: Also known as aluminum salts. These are known to hasten the release of the antigens from the vaccine once injected. It also strengthens the immune response. They also help prevent the proteins from sticking to the vaccines’ storage container. These substances are relatively tiny and way below the preferred dosage, so it’s safe for humans.
  • Preservatives: These prevent other harmful pathogens from contaminating the vaccine once the dose is extracted from the container. These play an essential role in lengthening the viability of the vaccine since not all have the necessary storage facilities to maintain the vaccines in cold spaces.
  • Stabilizers and Emulsifiers: Stabilizers are used to protect the vaccine from temperature changes during storage or transportation. Some examples are sorbitol, gelatin, and sugars like sucrose and fructose. Emulsifiers help to ensure all the ingredients are maintained suspended in the solution. These can also serve as adjuvants that boost the efficiency of the vaccine. Polysorbate 80 is one example of an emulsifier that can also be used in food products.
  • Residuals: These are the cell culture materials used by manufacturers to grow enough pathogens used to make vaccines. One example of residuals is protein from eggs. The manufacturers later removed these to avoid unnecessary side effects.

Rest assured that these ingredients are provided to the public because they’re safe and effective. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) constantly monitors these vaccines through several safety systems.

  1. Price Of Vaccines

Of course, you would also consider how much you will pay for your child’s vaccine. The cost of vaccinating a child differs between countries due to the variations of vaccines. The prices are negotiated with the manufacturers as well the delivery fees.

According to the CDC, pediatric vaccines’ prices range from as low as $9 up to $196 in the US. This can also depend on its brand and what kind of vaccine it is. Some vaccines are also offered for free regardless of your immigration status or whether you have health insurance or not.

Final Thoughts

There’s a surplus of information regarding vaccination, and it’s easy for parents to be overwhelmed since they’re also bombarded with fake information regarding vaccines. If you’re a parent and don’t know where to start, a good first step is to talk to pediatricians regarding your concerns. They’re the best resource person who can explain how vaccines work and discuss the benefits of vaccinating your child. They will also give you options before proceeding to the vaccination process itself.

As a parent, you only want what’s best for your child. Before agreeing to any vaccines, your vaccination provider should give you all the information you need to make a decision. Take your time before deciding on anything. To help ease your mind, you can always schedule another appointment or ask more queries before proceeding.

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