5 vaccination questions new parents want answered
There has always been concern amongst parents regarding the safety of vaccines for babies and children. Public Health England recently spoke to David Green, an immunisations nurse expert to give answers to questions he gets asked most often.
1) Are vaccines safe?
"All vaccines used in the UK are thoroughly tested, meet strict safety criteria and are carefully monitored after they are introduced into the national programme.
It’s frustrating that we occasionally see misinformation circulating about side-effects from vaccinations that may dissuade people from being vaccinated or vaccinating their children"
2) Are there any side-effects after immunisation?
"Some babies have some swelling, redness or a small hard lump where the injection was given and it may be sore to touch. This usually only lasts two to three days and doesn't need any treatment.
Fevers are quite common in young children, but are usually mild. If your child’s face feels hot to the touch and they look red or flushed, he or she may have a fever. You can check their temperature with a thermometer."
3) I’ve heard that vaccines are not that effective, is it worth having them?
"Vaccines are highly effective. They save lives, prevent serious complications, hospitalisation and disability in people of all ages. Because of vaccinations, we no longer see serious illnesses like smallpox, and polio has almost been eradicated.
All vaccines used in the UK are thoroughly tested and have to be proven effective before they can be introduced."
4) Is it safe for babies and children to have several vaccines at once – do vaccines ‘overload’ their immune system?
"Giving your child a number of vaccinations at the same time is safe and is also very effective because protecting them as soon as possible is better than waiting.
From the moment your child is born, he/she is naturally being exposed to a huge number of bacteria and viruses every day. Your baby’s immune system is able to cope with this and as a result becomes stronger. Compared with exposure to germs in the natural environment, responding to vaccines use only a tiny proportion of the infant’s immune system.
5) What happens if I decide not to get my child vaccinated but later change my mind?
"You should take up your child’s vaccinations as soon as they are offered. If you didn’t, contact your GP surgery and book them in for the vaccinations that they missed out on but are still eligible to receive."
Information is from Public Health England, a government body. The full question and answer article can be found: here