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Vaccination & Immunization

Vaccination is required to build immunity against certain fatal/infectious diseases. Babies are born with immunity to some infectious diseases such as measles. This 'passive immunity' is passed on from mother to baby, but it only lasts for a few months.
The child needs to develop his or her own antibodies (proteins produced by the immune system) to fight against bacteria and viruses. Vaccination is done from time to time right from the birth to achieve this.

Vaccination

Vaccination is the administration of antigen (weakened or killed forms of the microbe, its toxins or one of its surface proteins) to trigger the production of an antibody by the immune system to stimulate the internal defence mechanism of an individual to develop immunity to a disease.

In general, vaccination is considered to be the most effective method of preventing infectious diseases. The word vaccination was first used by Edward Jenner in 1796. Louis Pasteur furthered the concept through his pioneering work in microbiology. Vaccination (Latin: vacca—cow) is so named because the first vaccine was derived from a virus affecting cows—the relatively benign cowpox virus—which provides a degree of immunity to smallpox , a contagious and deadly disease. In general, 'vaccination' and 'immunization' have the same colloquial meaning. This distinguishes it from inoculation ,which uses unweakened live pathogens, although in common usage either is used to refer to an immunization.

About childhood immunizations

Immunization is a way to teach the body to protect itself against infectious diseases. Since child-birth, vaccines are administered to fortify the child's body against different diseases. Vaccines stimulate the immune system in the same way as an infection, but without causing a full-blown disease. Vaccines are a safe way to ensure your child develops his or her own antibodies to a particular infection. Vaccines are made using:

  • dead viruses or bacteria
  • inactivated toxin from a virus or bacterium
  • a weakened form of a live virus or bacterium (called a live vaccine)
  • parts of a virus or bacterium, but not the whole organism (called component vaccine)

Why immunize?

Immunization Schedule

Vaccines