Your Child’s Immunity
This is a series on the questions that parents are asking themselves on what is the best way to raise their children ‘naturally’. At Biogetica we choose the middle road and want to present the facts as is. Our Doctors have prepared these posts for the most common and pressing questions that parents face today when deciding how to raise healthy children. Our first post is by Dr. Gauri Mane on Immunity and Misconceptions around Vaccines.
Immunisation is surrounded by myths and misconceptions. Every parent wants to get the best immunity developed in their child. Many misconceptions about vaccines have persisted for decades because of a poor understanding of how vaccination works.
The most common myth is that that a child’s immune system can be “overloaded” if the child receives multiple vaccines at once. This concern first began to appear as the recommended childhood immunization schedule expanded to include more vaccines, and as some vaccines were combined into a single shot. However, studies have repeatedly demonstrated that the recommended vaccines are no more likely to cause adverse effects when given in combination than when they are administered separately.
When there’s an outbreak of a disease that’s rare for a given area, such as measles, unvaccinated people aren’t the only ones at risk. Because no vaccination is 100% effective, some vaccinated individuals will get the disease as well. In fact, during an outbreak, the number of vaccinated individuals who get sick will often outnumber the unvaccinated people who get sick. This, however, is not because vaccines are ineffective, but because there are so few people who avoid vaccination in the first place.
Chickenpox as an Example
Improved hygiene and nutrition, among other factors, can certainly lower the incidence of some diseases. Perhaps the best evidence that vaccines, and not hygiene and nutrition, are responsible for the sharp drop in disease and death rates is chickenpox. If hygiene and nutrition alone were enough to prevent infectious diseases, chickenpox rates would have dropped long before the introduction of the varicella vaccine, which was not available until the mid-1990s.
Need for Caution
It is also said that do not give a live vaccine if your child’s immunity is weakened. Live vaccines are ones that contain the virus or bacteria they’re supposed to protect against, albeit in a weakened, inactivated or dead form.
- your child is taking high-dose steroid tablets, or is taking lower doses either alongside other drugs or over a long time.
- your child is being treated for cancer with chemotherapy or radiotherapy, or has had these treatments within the last six months
- your child has had an organ transplant and is on immunosuppressant drugs
- your child has had a bone marrow transplant and finished all immunosuppressive therapy within the last 12 months
About the writer
Dr.Gauri Mane has a B.H.M.S degree from Maharashtra University of Health Sciences, Mumbai. She topped her class and graduated Magna Cum Laude. She is a licensed Homeopath, with over 4 years of clinical experience in Homeopathy, as well as Allopathy.
She has also worked as a Research Coordinator for several clinical trials. Besides this, she possesses a Post Graduate Diploma in Hospital and Healthcare management (PGDHHM) from Symbiosis Institute, Pune. She is also a certified Nutritionist and Dietitian.
In the followings parts of this series we explore the side-effects of vaccines and how to naturally boost immunity in children.