Do you want to know why we have to vaccinate our children? We tell you what vaccines they need and at what age they are administered, what you should do in case of a serious reaction or why there are parents who choose to have vaccines that are outside the mandatory vaccination schedule. We answer the most frequent questions from parents about childhood vaccination.
What are vaccines and what do they do in the body of babies?
Vaccinate is to inoculate a biological product to a person to provoke a defense response in him and to preserve him from a specific disease. What vaccines are doing is introducing into the body the microorganism that causes the disease from which it is intended to defend itself, but weakened so that the immune system fights against it. Antibodies protect our children against the causative agents of the disease, eliminating them.
We could say that we are simulating an attack so that, if in the future our child is attacked by the offending microorganism, he acquires immunity from it.
What would happen if we did not vaccinate our children?
If it weren't for the vaccines, the diseases wouldn't go away. Vaccines control many of the infectious diseases that existed in the past such as polio or meningitis B, because the viruses and bacteria that cause those diseases still exist and can be transmitted to unvaccinated children.
Furthermore, with the mobility of people from one country to another, eradicated diseases can be transmitted to other places. If vaccines were not used, there could be epidemics of diseases that could even cause death.
Therefore, we can say that vaccines save thousands of lives every year.
What diseases do vaccines prevent?
The most popular vaccines are the following:
Diphtheria, flu, Haemophilus influenzae type b, hepatitis A, hepatitis B, meningococcus B, meningococcus C, pneumococcus, mumps or mumps, polio, rotavirus, rubella, measles, tetanus, pertussis, chickenpox, human papillomavirus ...
Although we have to bear in mind that the calendar is renewed every year with some modifications.
On this website you can check the current vaccination schedule.
Why are there vaccines outside the vaccination schedule?
There are some vaccines that are not in the vaccination schedules of the autonomous communities because they are not funded. Parents can voluntarily give their children these vaccines, as long as the pediatrician recommends it. Other vaccines that were not on the official calendar before are now, such as chickenpox.
The paid vaccines are:
- The rotavirus (Rotateq), the meningococcal B (Bexsero) in infants or the tetravalent antimeningococcal in adolescents.
- Bexsero, for example, was included in the United Kingdom in its national vaccination schedule in 2015, and, after a study, a decrease in half the number of affected was observed compared to the previous year. It was marketed in Spain in 2015. As serogroup B meningitis and sepsis are serious diseases, there was a boom and many parents went to pharmacies to get it, but there were long waiting lists of months to acquire it and this caused some concern among the population. That happened and right now it can be found without problems in pharmacies.
What vaccines do I have to give my children before they are 7 years old?
The Spanish Association of Pediatrics recommends administering the following vaccines before reaching the age of 7:
- 3 doses against hepatitis B, diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, Haemophilus influenzae type b and polio in the first year. Many of the Spanish autonomous communities (CC. AA.) Administer these 6 vaccines in a single injection (hexavalent vaccine) at 2, 4 and 11 months of age.
- 2 doses against meningococcus C at 4 and 12 months of age.
- 3 doses against pneumococcus at 2, 4 and 11 months of age.
- 2 or 3 doses of oral rotavirus vaccine, as prepared, at 2, 4, or 2, 4 and 6 months of age. (Unfunded).
- 3 doses against meningococcus B at 3, 5 and 12-15 months of age. This vaccine is not funded.
- 2 doses against measles, mumps and rubella, the first at 12 months of age and the second between 2 and 4 years. The three components are administered together in a single injection (triple viral).
- 2 doses against chickenpox, one at 15 months of age and another at 2-4 years.
- 1 dose against diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis and polio at 6 years.
What do I do if I have forgotten a vaccine?
Normally, the pediatricians at your health center will be waiting for the vaccination and will ask you if you have vaccinated your children in the months and years of life in which there is vaccination. But if you have missed any of the vaccines, don't worry because vaccines can be administered at any age, even if there are recommended ages. You simply consult with the doctor and he will tell you when you can put it on. It is also very normal to put a dose and forget the next doses, in this case, it would not be necessary to repeat the first dose, the next dose would be put without more.
The ideal is to keep track of the vaccines in the diary that they give you at the health center with the first vaccination. If we ever forget to bring the diary, the doctor will print the vaccine stamp for us to add to the diary.
What do I do if my child has a reaction to a vaccine?
Although vaccines are very proven and safe drugs, there may be an episode of fever or redness on the skin. But if any other serious symptoms appear, you should take the child to the emergency room for evaluation by a medical professional.
You can read more articles similar to The most frequent doubts of parents about childhood vaccination, in the category of Vaccines on site.