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People are arguing whether immunization, or giving vaccines, for babies is necessary.
But is it?
Immunization for baby is important since babies are susceptible to disease as their immune hasn't been developed yet.
Vaccines injected to their body will help their immune system to build antibody to fight virus or bacteria that might cause diseases.
For example, there used to be many kids suffering from polio, and many of them died. After vaccines were invented, the number of kids suffering from serious illness such as polio reduced significantly.
After immunization, kids might have fever, pain or redness on the part where the kids got injected. They might also lose their appetite and endure other side effects. However, this is a normal thing to happen and it will not last for too long. It is their body’s reaction to the new chemical going inside their body.
The pain and side effects are nothing compared to the pain they would have when they get serious diseases because they did not get the immunization when they were younger.
In Indonesia, babies younger than one year should get complete basic immunization to prevent polio, measles, tuberculosis (TBC), diphtheria, pertussis or whooping cough, tetanus, and hepatitis B.
The complete basic immunization includes five kinds of vaccine that will be given more than once depending on the babies’ age.
By giving vaccines according to their age, their bodies will be stimulated to create stronger immune system by creating antibody as a resistance to attack dangerous diseases.
Here are the five of the basic vaccines your baby should get:
1. Hepatitis B Vaccine
This vaccine is to prevent Hepatitis B and liver damage. It is given only once to a new born baby, not older than seven days. Usually the baby will be given this vaccine right after the birth.
2. BCG Vaccine
BCG Vaccine is to prevent tuberculosis (TBC) and it is given only once to a one-month baby.
3. DPT-Hepatitis B Vaccine
The vaccine for preventing diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus and hepatitis B is given three times when the baby is two months old, three months old and four months old.
4. Polio Vaccine
Polio can cause paralysis on legs and arms. It is given four times when the baby is one month, two months, three months and four months old.
5. Measles Vaccine
It is used to prevent measles which can cause complications of pneumonia, brain inflammation, and blindness. It is only given once when the baby is nine months old.
But what if you are already late to get your babies vaccinated?
Then you need to take your babies for vaccination as soon as possible. Giving vaccines not at the time according to the schedule is not a big problem as long as the babies are given the five complete basic immunizations while they are still under one year old.
And what might happen if the baby does not get any immunization at all?
Some people still doubt immunization and some believe it will only make them to get sick.
However, it has been guaranteed that immunization is safe. There are many scientists that focus on making vaccines safer from time to time.
Before getting a license and being distributed, a vaccine has to be tested several times to ensure its safety. So, there's no need to be scared. You're in good hands.
If a child does not get any immunization at all, he/she will have more risk to get the diseases mentioned above and it might lead to their death.
The immune system of children who do not get immunization is not as strong as those who get since their body does not recognize the virus of disease that go inside their body and it makes their body unable to fight against it.
The article was previously published in Hellosehat.com and all medical data have been reviewed by a licensed medical doctor.