needles.jpgImmunizations have revolutionized pediatric health and play a major role in helping protect your child against disease. They are strongly recommended by both the Canadian Pediatric Society and the National Advisory Committee on Immunization.

Wikipedia defines vaccination as the administration of antigenic material to produce immunity to a disease. This will prevent or ameliorate the effects of infection by a pathogen. The material administrated can either be live, but weakened forms of pathogens such as bacteria or viruses, killed or inactivated forms of these pathogens, or purified materials such as proteins. In short, immunizations help the body produce antibodies against a particular disease. Smallpox was the first disease people tried to prevent by purposely inoculating themselves with other types of infections.

Your local health unit or medical practitioner will be able to guide your decision about vaccinations, when they are appropriate and what your baby should receive. It is important to track the vaccines that your child has received in order to keep them up to date and to be aware of any upcoming vaccinations. Immunization schedules vary across Canada so you should follow the one recommended for your province or territory.

Please note: it is our understanding the MMR vaccine scheduled for the one year mark should be given no earlier; schools do not recognize it otherwise – check with your local school district.

References
Douglas, Ann. The Mother Of All Immunization Guides.
Murkoff, H., A. Eisenberg and S. Hathaway. What to Expect the First Year.

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