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Childhood Immunization Resource

Immunizations are an important block in the foundation of a healthy life for children.   The diseases that vaccines prevent can be dangerous, even deadly. Vaccines reduce the risk of infection by working with the body’s natural defenses to help it safely develop immunity to disease.  Before your children start school or return to school, current immunizations are required.

Seeking for Immunity

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Our immune systems are designed to protect us from anything harmful that may enter our body.  When a germ (virus or bacteria) enters our body, the immune system recognizes it as an invader and produc­es proteins called antibodies to kill it.

Antibodies find and destroy the specific germs that cause us to get sick.  So antibodies to the measles virus will only attack the measles virus and nothing else.  The good news is that the immune system “remembers” the germs.  This way if it shows up again, the antibodies quickly destroy it before you get sick again.  This is the way that our bodies build immunity to disease. We all want immunity so we don’t get the disease again!

It is very important to build immunity to dangerous diseases with a vaccine before a child is exposed to the disease.  This is why we want to get our immunizations done on time (see Immunization Schedules below).

How Vaccines Work

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A vaccine contains a part of a weak or dead germ called an antigen.  These antigens stimulate your immune system to produce the antibodies that kill the germ and thus build your immunity to the disease.  This has the same effect as if you were exposed to the disease.  After the vaccination is complete, you develop the immunity to that disease without having to get the disease first!  This is why immunizations are so important: because they actually prevent the disease.

For Parents

As a parent, it can be stressful to bring your baby in to get up to 4 shots during a single visit.  However, these shots protect against 14 horrible diseases.  Some new parents wonder if vaccines are safe.   Of course, there will likely be side affects like a fever and soreness but they are typically very mild.  While it is good to be cautious, it is important to realize that every day, a baby’s immune system fights off millions of antigens so the introduction of a vaccine isn’t new.  It is also comforting to know that the safety of all vaccines is studied and monitored by the Center for Disease Control and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration but if you have questions, please contact my office.

Here are a few links to some good information regarding immunity and vaccinations: Parent’s Guide Part 1Parent’s Guide Part 2Parent’s Guide Part 3

Immunization Schedules

Babies and children need to get several vaccines before their second birthday. As children get older, they will require additional doses of some vaccines for best protection. Older kids also need to be protected against additional diseases they may encounter. The following links provide detailed information regarding immunizations schedules provided by the Center for Disease Control and the State of Idaho:

Immunization Schedules

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has published a very informative website that includes immunization schedules.  Visit this website for more information: Immunization Schedules

State of Idaho Requirements

The State of Idaho has a website with a wealth of information regarding state requirements for children and adults.  Visit this website to access the information:  Idaho Requirments

Day Care and School Immunizations

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Daycare and school immunization requirements for the State of Idaho are listed on the Eastern Idaho Public Health District.  If you are not sure what vaccinations are required in ho, visit the following webpage: Daycare and School Requirements

International Travel

One last little note, if you are planning on traveling internationally with your children, it is important to know that some countries have outbreaks of diseases that can ruin a fun-filled trip.  Some diseases are easy to pick up on an airplane or in certain areas of the world.  The following link to a Travelers’ Health web site where you can find out if your destination recommends or requires certain vaccines before you travel. Recommended Travel Vaccines