The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) recommend vaccinations for infants, children, and adolescents as a safe and effective means of protection against preventable disease. Columbia Pediatrics in Long Beach, CA, strongly supports these recommendations and are ready to provide timely immunizations to families living in the greater Los Angeles area.
Vaccines Q & A
What are vaccines and how do they work?
Our body’s main line of defense against infection is our immune system. Whenever a new infection enters our bodies, it can be a race against time between the spread of the germ and the time it takes for our body to learn and mount an effective defense against it. Once learned, however, our immune system adapts and can quickly protect us against any future infection by that same germ. Scientists have discovered that by introducing a part of a germ or a severely weakened live germ to the immune system, the body can learn just as if it were exposed to the actual disease but with far less risk. This is exactly what happens when we vaccinate.
Why are vaccines important?
Children, especially young infants, can become severely ill when faced with an infectious disease. Through vaccination, the immune systems of these little ones are trained to recognize and counter these specific infections before they can overwhelm the body. Furthermore, as entire communities become immunized, these infections have nowhere to spread and can be potentially eradicated altogether.
Will vaccines make my child sick?
Ever since the early 1900’s, the United States has enacted safeguards to oversee that our vaccines remain both safe and effective. The worldwide scientific community also remains vigilant in their continual testing of both new and established vaccines. As with any medication, there can be side effects, but vaccine side effects are very rarely serious and mostly consist of mild fevers or a small amount of irritation at the injection site. These temporary symptoms, if they even occur at all, are far more preferable than the potentially deadly and devastating symptoms that can occur with a real infection.
How can I tell which immunizations my child needs?
Our doctors will discuss the recommended immunization schedule with you during your child’s routine visits. Your pediatrician will review your child’s and family’s histories to determine if there are any rare situations where a vaccine should be rescheduled or temporarily withheld. Otherwise, we as board-certified pediatricians firmly believe in vaccinating all of our patients in a timely fashion, in accordance with the standard of care that is expected from us by our families.