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Vaccines and Boosters That Every Child Should Have

Vaccines and Boosters That Every Child Should Have

As a parent, you undoubtedly want to do all you can to help your child lead a healthy life. Eating a balanced diet, getting plenty of exercise, and having regular doctor exams are some of the most common ways parents help their kids stay healthy. Making sure kids are properly vaccinated is another.

As a top pediatrician in Clifton, New Jersey, Hisham Gadalla, MD follows vaccine recommendations issued by the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) to help patients at Fayrouz Pediatrics get the age-appropriate immunizations they need to ward off diseases. Here’s how vaccines work and which ones your child needs to stay healthy as they grow and develop.

The science of vaccines

We’re born with some natural, “built-in” immunity that’s passed on from our mothers while we’re still in the uterus. But as important as that natural (or innate) immunity is, it’s definitely not strong enough or broad enough to protect us from a lot of the germs we’ll encounter. 

Vaccines work by supplementing your immune system, supplying it with the tools it needs to fight off serious and sometimes deadly diseases, like polio, diphtheria, whooping cough, and influenza. Specifically, vaccines trigger the development of antibodies, special proteins that help our bodies ward off diseases.

In order to fight off different diseases, we need different antibodies — and that’s why we need so many different vaccines. Providing vaccines during childhood helps your child develop immunity to diseases early, so they can avoid serious infections. Some vaccines provide a lifetime of protection against a specific disease. Others (like the flu vaccine) need to be administered annually, while others (like tetanus) need occasional “boosters” to maintain immunity.

Vaccines do not cause disease

Despite the proven benefits of vaccination, a lot of myths persist, leading to concerns and worries among plenty of parents: Will vaccines cause the illnesses they’re supposed to prevent? Do vaccines cause autism? The answer is no: Vaccines don’t cause illness, nor do they cause autism or increase the risk of autism. 

Rarely, a vaccine may cause an allergic reaction, typically triggered by an inert ingredient. For instance, some vaccines use eggs during part of the production process. If your child is allergic to eggs, they may have an allergic reaction to those vaccines. Prior to immunization, tell Dr. Gadalla about any allergies your child has so alternatives can be used if needed.

Vaccine recommendations for babies, kids, and teens

Most vaccines are recommended based on age, while a few are recommended based on potential disease risks or exposures. The CDC maintains a comprehensive list of vaccine recommendations on its website. The following list is a brief overview of those recommendations.

From birth to 18 months:

From 18 months to 18 years:

Age 11 or older:

Most vaccines are administered before your child reaches their second birthday, but even if your child has “missed” a dose, they can still have catch-up vaccines to make sure they’re protected. Dr. Gadalla will review your child’s medical records to make sure they receive optimal dosing based on their needs.

Give your child a healthy head start

Vaccines play an essential role in helping your child stay healthy now and even through their adult years. To learn more about vaccines at Fayrouz Pediatrics and to make sure your child’s vaccines are up to date, call 973-834-5539 or book an appointment online with Dr. Gadalla and his team today.

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