Vaccines are a powerful tool for building a strong, responsive, and resilient immune system. Parents in and around Joplin, Missouri, rely on the team at Pediatric Associates of Southwest Missouri for comprehensive vaccination services. If you have questions about vaccines or want your child’s immunization record reviewed, call or click to schedule a visit.
Vaccines are injections (shots) designed to trigger your child’s body to launch an immune response to a particular virus, bacterium, or fungus (antigens). There are many different types of vaccines, and the world’s leading health experts have created a list of recommended vaccines that all children should receive.
A vaccine works by introducing a weakened, dead, or otherwise altered form of an antigen into your child’s body. This triggers an immediate response, building up the antibodies and other special cells needed to fight off the infection.
This process occurs naturally whenever a person encounters an antigen, even if they are not vaccinated. However, some diseases are so powerful that an infection can overwhelm a child’s system before natural immune protection develops. That’s where vaccines come in; they give your child’s immune system a “training run” on how to fight off a specific infection.
The terms “vaccine” and “immunization” are often used interchangeably. Vaccines are the actual substance that triggers the immune response. Immunization refers to the process of building immunity over time through vaccines.
There is no need to worry about which vaccines your child needs at any given time. Vaccines are administered during routine newborn care and well-child visits, according to the schedule laid out by the nation’s top health experts. COVID-19 vaccines and annual flu shots are also available.
A great deal of misinformation is available regarding the safety of vaccines. It’s important for parents to get their information from medical practitioners, not the internet. Vaccines are nothing new; they’ve been around for a long time and have been the focus of countless studies and trials.
Health experts worldwide agree that vaccines are not only safe and effective but also a critical part of a healthy childhood. Extensive research shows that infection rates are lower in parts of the world where kids have access to vaccines.
If you have any questions or concerns about vaccine safety or scheduling, the team at Pediatric Associates of Southwest Missouri is here to help. Book your visit online or over the phone, and know that telehealth visits are also an option.