Vaccines: A Shot At Good Health

Vaccines help your child’s body fight preventable, harmful diseases. But, the controversies surrounding it can leave any parent confused. Here's all you need to know about vaccinating your child.

By Deepika Mohan

Shots may hurt a little, but the diseases they can prevent are a lot worse. Some are even life-threatening. Immunisation shots, or vaccinations, are essential to protect against diseases like measles, mumps, rubella, hepatitis B, polio, tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis (whooping cough). Immunisations are important for adults as well as children. Your immune system helps your body fight germs by producing substances to combat them. Once it does, the immune system "remembers" the germ and can fight it again. Vaccines contain germs that have been killed or weakened. When given to a healthy person, the vaccine triggers the immune system to respond and thus build immunity. Before vaccines, people became immune only by actually getting a disease and surviving it. Immunisations are an easier and less risky way to become immune. (Source: NIH: National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases)

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