Vaccines are an essential part of your child’s overall health and a need that should not be taken lightly. At Liberty Pediatrics in the Liberty Park area of Vestavia, Alabama, Riley Livingston, MD, offers comprehensive vaccination services and can discuss any concerns you have about the process of vaccination. If you have questions about vaccination or would like to check your child’s immunization record, call or schedule an appointment online today.
Vaccines are among the most important and impactful advancements in modern medicine and have dramatically reduced outbreaks of infectious disease in recent decades. They are not only a means of providing personal protection from illness, but they are also a public health matter.
One way to think about vaccines is to envision them as a training course for your child’s immune system. Any time your child encounters viruses or bacteria (antigens), their body responds by producing antibodies that fight those invading antigens.
Once produced, those antibodies remain in your child’s body for the rest of their lives. They lie dormant unless your child one day encounters that same antigen. At that point, the antibodies spring into action to fight off an infection.
A vaccine is a weakened or dead version of an antigen that is introduced to your child’s body by way of injection. Your child’s immune system responds by producing antibodies, even though the version of the antigen isn’t strong enough to cause illness.
This process works on its own without the need for vaccines. The problem lies in the fact that certain diseases are so strong that they could overwhelm your child’s system before their natural immune response has time to react. Vaccination ensures those antibodies are in place before exposure to the real disease occurs.
In most cases, parents are trying to do what’s best for their children and are making that decision based on flawed information. A vast body of medical research supports the safety and importance of vaccinations for children beginning shortly after birth.
A great deal of misinformation continues to circulate, however, especially online. Some parents are fearful that vaccines will harm their children, and make the decision to withhold vaccines.
The team at Liberty Pediatrics is passionate about caring for children, and want the best for every child. Parent choice is a big part of that process, but when it comes to vaccination, the scientific evidence is overwhelmingly in support of childhood vaccines.
If you choose to not have your child vaccinated you cannot be part of the Liberty Pediatrics family. This approach ensures that other patients and their families are not exposed to the risk that your child could expose others to serious preventable diseases.
If you’d like to learn more about vaccines and the role they play in pediatric medicine, call or book an appointment online today.