August is a month of controversy. No, not because of the things that Donald Trump has said or because of the recent events with Hilary Clinton's emails. August is National Immunization Awareness Month. Although vaccinations have done so much good in protecting people from diseases such as measles, whooping cough, and invasive pneumococcal disease, they have caused controversy because some people believe them to carry other risks. And with high-profile celebrities speaking out against vaccines, oftentimes, they get a bad rap.
However, in honor of National Immunization Awareness Month, we sat down with Jennifer Arnold, MD, MSc, FAAP and got the facts about vaccines. While she herself has two children and wants the best for them, her profession also leads to her wanting the best for all children. “All parents like you and I just want what’s best for their children,” Dr. Arnold said. “And while most parents understand the importance of vaccinations, one of the most common questions I get is ‘Can I delay [the vaccinations]?' or ‘Can I spread them out?' Some parents feel overwhelmed by the number of vaccines that are needed at a particular well-child visit.”
The answer to those questions is a no. According to Dr. Arnold, babies need to receive the vaccines on time so that their underdeveloped — and still developing — immune systems can start to work as soon as possible.
“When you give a baby a vaccine, their body creates antibodies, and the antibodies are the body's key factors for fighting and preventing infection,” Dr. Arnold explained. “So if we miss doses or we delay them, we inhibit the body's ability to make the right amount of antibodies so a baby can be as optimally protected as possible.”
Dr. Arnold mentioned that parents are their children's best advocates, so parents need to talk to their children's pediatrician and find out when they should be vaccinating their children. For more information about vaccines, visit Baby Vax Facts or the CDC's page about vaccines.
Jace Whatcott is a self-diagnosed introvert who loves crossword puzzles, golf, and reading. Despite being a male contributor—one of the few on this particular website—he is not in unfamiliar territory. Because he is an English major, 90% of his classmates are females, so he’s not too worried about being a fish out of water. One of his favorite things to do is to raid local thrift stores for used books. He’s always looking for something to read, or for something to put on his endless to-r ... More