In the past, the threat of diseases such as smallpox and polio struck fear into parents – an infection like that could mean death or paralysis for their child.
Fortunately, thanks to the development of vaccines, smallpox has been totally eradicated and other infections such as polio and measles have nearly been eliminated.
How do vaccines work?
Vaccines contain either:
- Non-infectious fragments of bacteria and viruses
- Whole live bacteria or viruses that have been weakened so that they cannot cause disease
- A toxin that is produced by the bacteria but has been altered to be harmless (called a toxoid).
When they are introduced into the body (usually by injection) they stimulate the body's immune system to fight against that disease, without the person actually getting the illness.
How safe are vaccines?
It is safe to say that the vaccines available today are highly reliable and most people tolerate them well: they rarely have side effects, and when they do, they are usually minor such as pain at the injection site, an itchy rash or mild fever.
It is important to note that vaccines are continuously undergoing improvements to ensure their safety and effectiveness. As a parent considering vaccination for your child, remember that the benefits of vaccinating your child far outweigh any risks associated with vaccines.
Do combination vaccines work?
Apart from protecting your child against numerous diseases, one of the greatest advantages of combination vaccines is that your baby needs to have fewer injections. Combining vaccines in one injection does not affect the efficacy or safety of the individual vaccines.
Baby immunisations are available at Clicks Clinics
Baby immunisations are available at Clicks clinics, including the MMR vaccine (measles, mumps and rubella). To make an appointment at a Clicks Clinic, call 0860 254 257 or visit Clicks Clinics online.
Be sure to stay on track with your little one's immunisations with the Clicks childhood vaccination schedule.
Shop online at Clicks.co.za for baby and child health products
Only the best will do for your little one, which is why our Clicks' childcare experts have curated an online selection of baby and child health essentials for all their needs.