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What is Immunization?

What is Immunization?

by: Dr. Sorabh Goel
Consultant - Neonatology-Paras Bliss, Panchkula

Immunization is the process whereby a person is made immune or resistant to infections, typically by the administration of a vaccine. Although all the diseases may not be preventable, but large number of vaccines have been developed to provide protection against many life-threatening diseases.  Aim of immunization is to decrease the death rate among children because of these preventable infections.

How Immunization works?

By immunization we give the bacteria/virus antigens which have lost their infectivity but are still able to challenge the immune system of our body. Our immune system synthesise protective antibodies against that bacteria/virus. These antibodies act by blocking the actual bacteria and virus when child is exposed to that, thus prevents the invasion and infection by the same.

When to immunize?

Immunization starts at birth. There are many immunization schedules, so it’s better to follow up the schedule as advised by your paediatrician.

Where to get vaccination?

You can get your child vaccinated at government health centres and private clinics/hospitals where facilities to store vaccines at appropriate temperature are available. It is also always recommended that vaccination should be given to the child in a centre which is well equipped to handle allergic/anaphylaxis reaction if any.

Does Immunisation has any side effects?

As all other medicines, vaccines do have many side effects. Common side effects are mild and can be controlled with medicines. Most common side effects with any vaccine are: fever, pain, swelling at the site of injection. These are usually very mild and need only simple analgesic medication to control. Few vaccines like MMR/Varicella may be associated with rash and mild viral illness which is a self-limiting disease with no harm to the child. Serious side effect likes anaphylaxis/allergic reaction and seizures (with DPT) are very rare.

So it is better to get your child immunized against preventable infections by vaccination at well-equipped vaccination centres/hospitals under the guidance of a paediatrician without any fear of side effects.

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