On the lead-up to your baby’s birth, your pediatric clinic will inform you about the various vaccinations your newborn will need. The list is quite extensive and may make you feel a little anxious, but your pediatrician will help put your mind at ease.
We could bore you with all the scientific data on the importance of vaccines and how they have helped, but you are probably more interested in what all those injections will do to your newborn. So we have created this short post to answer, “How do vaccinations work?”
A Quick Introduction
Before vaccinations were introduced, child mortality was high across the world.Vaccinations, however, have allowed humans to stop or completely eradicate diseases such as polio and smallpox.
Vaccines and other developments in medicine have completely changed the landscape in the fight against infectious diseases. In the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has developed a successful schedule of vaccinations, which helps to protect your little one and the community as a whole.
A Newborn Immune System
When a baby is born, they carry immunity from their mother from various conditions such as measles and mumps, but this doesn’t last long. As they grow, a mixture of exposure to new bacteria and germs, alongside antibodies passed on through their mother’s milk, helps them to develop their own fully functioning immune system.
However, there are some germs, bacteria, and viruses that can be particularly devastating to a newborn’s immune system if they come in contact with it. Being around adults with a cold or a contagious disease can cause a baby more problems than an adult with a fully developed immune system.
This is why the CDC’s vaccination protocol is recommended for all newborns across the United States.
Simplifying the Science
When your baby receives the influenza vaccine, for example, a tiny amount of the virus will be put into your child’s bloodstream, which allows her immune system to create antibodies to fight the virus. Therefore, if she ever comes into contact with an active virus, she will be able to fight it off by herself.
Without this vaccine, the baby will be susceptible to becoming infected by the virus, which can be potentially life-threatening.
Will It Hurt?
Having vaccinations is likely to be an upsetting experience for you and your little one but one that won’t last for long. She might be a bit grumbly and unsettled after having the vaccination, which is perfectly normal. So even though it isn’t nice seeing your baby crying, the short-term discomfort is far outweighed by the long-term health benefits of immunity.
Some parents have objections to having their baby vaccinated for many reasons, but one of the common ones is fear that their baby will become ill after the immunization shot. As we mentioned above, they will be a little grouchy after the injection, but that should be the worst of it. This is because the CDC has monitored the optimum delivery schedule for many years so your baby will not receive more than they can handle, which is one less thing for you to worry about.