Immunization for Children: Your Definitive Guide to All the Vaccines Your Child Needs to be Fully Immunized & Protected
written by MSD in the Philippines
“Mas maselan na ako sa health ng baby ko, lalo na ngayon kasi hindi natin alam kung ano’ng pwedeng mangyari.” (I am more particular about my baby’s health, especially during these times when we are not sure what could happen next.)
This is the sentiment of Faith, a young mom of a one-year-old girl, her unica hija.
For Faith and many other first-time parents like her, pandemics, outbreaks, scares, and various other health threats have put looking out for their children’s health the top priority.
And because prevention is still better than cure, one of the best ways parents can keep their kids healthy is to think ahead and stop the onslaught of a disease before it starts – in other words, taking steps to protect yourself against vaccine preventable diseases. Do this by being up-to-date with your kids’ vaccination! According to the World Health Organization, vaccination is the second best way to greatly reduce the burden of infectious diseases (with clean water being the first).
Read on for a complete guide to all the vaccines your child needs to be fully immunized and protected, for the moms and dads who want to be ‘maselan’ over their child’s health!
The vaccination schedule
Before parents even step out of the house to bring their kids to the health clinics for immunization, it is important to remember that childhood immunization has a schedule, and it needs to be followed!
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reminds all parents that on-time vaccination throughout childhood helps provide their children much-needed immunity before they are exposed to today’s many potentially life-threatening diseases.
Dra Lulu Bravo, Executive Director of the Philippine Foundation for Vaccination, also emphasizes that parents should not delay their children’s vaccination. They have a big role in ensuring their child’s protection after all, so parents should be able to properly call the shots.
“[Pediatricians] always want to give the vaccines at the earliest time,” Dra Bravo said in a recent interview. “So parents: don’t delay! We don’t know when [your child] could be exposed to any disease.”
For those that have missed a vaccine, she also reminded parents to ask about catch-up vaccinations, urging them to go back to health centers and carry on with their kids’ vaccination as soon as it is safe. “Call your health center and ask if it is open, and talk to your pediatrician,” she stated, adding that setting appointments and asking about health center safety protocols will also help make well-child visits easier.
Now that parents know the importance of having their kids vaccinated on time, what are the exact vaccines that kids need?
Below is a list for today’s new parents, taken from the official website of the Philippine Foundation for Vaccine.
An important reminder, according to Dra Bravo, parents looking to have their kids immunized this year should follow the 2021 Childhood Immunization Schedule. “Vaccines are dynamic, depending on the situation, the environment, and what threats are present. This is why the country’s [certified] pediatricians come together every year to make the necessary guidelines and recommendations,” she explained.
With this handy list of the necessary vaccines, (fit for the Philippine setting, too!), parents must be empowered to act on speaking with their pediatrician about vaccine preventable diseases.
Still, the most important ally that a parent can rely on regarding their beloved child’s health is their pediatrician. With constant communication with your child’s pediatrician, immunization timelines can be promptly met, vaccine concerns and side effects can be addressed, specific health concerns can be taken into account, and progress can be tracked better so that parents have the best peace of mind.
“If a mother is worried about the vaccines [administered to] her first baby, she would really need to ask her doctor,” Dra Bravo noted. “Your pediatrician should give you the most accurate recommendations for your child’s vaccine. You can read from the newspapers, the Internet, or social media, but some resources don’t really build confidence or give correct information.”
“Make sure your pediatrician is certified by the Philippine Pediatric Society,” she also reminded. “The Philippines is not lacking in experts! There are over 6000 certified pediatricians, and we are all working hard in order to make sure that kids are safe from many of today’s vaccine-preventable diseases.”
Ready to call the shots on your child’s health? Call your pediatrician today and ask about how to protect your baby from vaccine preventable diseases and appointments to keep your child protected. For more information, you may also visit https://www.facebook.com/CallTheShotsPH/