Immunizations, or routine vaccine shots, are essential for children in preventing certain infectious diseases. They protect children by strengthening their immune systems against devastating diseases, like measles, mumps, rubella, polio, whooping cough, and more. Immunizations also protect others by helping decrease the opportunity for disease spread, so it is important that children receive their age-appropriate vaccines.
Unfortunately, right now, child immunization rates are down across the U.S. due to the impacts of COVID-19. Parents have been cautious over the last sixteen months about taking their children into the doctor for their well-check exams and routine vaccines. This could be a dangerous trend. Adena Pediatrics and Adena Family Medicine practices want to strongly encourage our local families to schedule their children’s well-check appointments and get them updated on any needed immunizations.
Why are immunizations so important? They protect our children from potentially deadly diseases. Diseases that once were more common around the world, like measles, diphtheria, polio, pertussis (whooping cough), rubella (German measles), mumps, tetanus, and rotavirus are now generally prevented by vaccination. In fact, smallpox, one of the world’s most devastating diseases, has been basically eliminated as a disease threat thanks to its vaccine. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), vaccines have prevented countless cases of disease and saved millions of lives over the years.
Immunizations work by helping support a child’s immune system with the extra ability to help fight specific germs. Children are born with a natural immune system of cells, glands, organs, and bodily fluids. When a germ enters the body, the immune system recognizes it as a “foreign invader” (called an antigen) and produces proteins called antibodies to help fight the antigen. When a child has had a specific vaccine, like for measles, the antibodies produced by that vaccine “remember” that antigen and help fight any future exposure to measles. This is what gives children, and adults, protective immunity.
As we head into summer, now is a great time to make an appointment. Adena Pediatrics and Family Medicine offices are taking extra precautions to ensure safe visits and have expanded hours to accommodate working parents. It’s also a great way to make sure your child has all their needed shots before the next school year begins.
Call Adena Pediatrics at 740-779-4300 for an appointment at our Chillicothe, Waverly, Circleville or Greenfield locations or schedule an appointment at one of our Adena Family Medicine convenient locations: Chillicothe, Circleville, Greenfield, Hillsboro, Jackson, Piketon, Washington Court House, Waverly, or Wellston. You can call our offices directly or find a physician by calling 740-779-FIND (3463).
Questions about the COVID vaccine for children? Visit gettheshot.coronavirus.ohio.gov or call 1-833-4-ASK-ODH (1-833-427-5634).