Vaccines 101: Answers to Every Parent’s Vaccine Questions

Torn whether to vax or not? Then here are a few vaccine FAQs you should know đź’‰


By: Venchi Balendez

A new baby at home brings a lot of happiness to the family, but there are also uncertainties about the proper ways to take care of the new member of the family. And one primary concern, especially in recent years, is vaccination.

Over 2 to 3 million lives are saved worldwide each year because of vaccination.  And it has helped eradicate infectious diseases such as smallpox and polio for over six decades. This is the reason why vaccination is important for your child’s growth and development since it helps ensure that your child has the best protection against life-threatening diseases.

But if you have doubts and concerns about the effectivity and even need of vaccines due to a number of articles on social media, then you should feel free to ask questions and discuss it with your health practitioner or Pediatrician. Here are a few possible things you can discuss with your Pedia to quell your concerns and even make the sessions less stressful for both you and your child.

Which vaccines are “necessary” and when do I need to get my baby vaccinated?

Your Pediatrician or health center will provide you with a vaccination schedule during your first visit or baby wellness checkup. The schedule includes vaccines that can protect your child from 14 serious diseases from his birth until he turns 2 years old. You can then work with your healthcare provider in following the proposed vaccine schedule.

How can vaccines help my baby?

Vaccines can help keep your child healthy by initiating his immune system to develop the necessary antibodies to fight serious diseases before he gets sick. The immune system is responsible for fighting off infection and when your baby receives all the recommended dose of vaccines, your child’s immune system is then able to fight off these diseases.

How can I keep my baby comfortable after vaccination sessions?

It’s normal for us mother to worry every time our baby gets his shots. So you can ask your Pediatrician for tips to make vaccinations easier for your child. At the same time, here are a few tried and tested tips on how to do so:

  • Hold and comfort your baby during vaccination
  • Nurse your baby before, during, or after vaccination
  • Give your baby something sweet to suck on, such as his favorite pacifier or even cloth dipped in sugar water
  • Give a pain reliever such as acetaminophen after to lessen discomfort — although this should be upon the recommendation of your Pediatrician so that he can also prescribe the proper dosage and timing

Why should I get my baby vaccinated?

Some serious infections — most of which are now vaccine-preventable diseases, are dangerous and can lead to death in young children. Babies and young kids’ immunities are still developing/maturing, hence they are at a higher risk to these diseases.

What if my baby misses a scheduled vaccine?

Contact your healthcare provider or Pediatrician as soon as possible to reschedule your child’s vaccination so that he will still be up-to-date. Missing a recommended vaccine dose could mean that your child might be at a greater risk for serious diseases due to possible lowered immunity.

Do I have the right to refuse my baby’s vaccinations?

Yes, you can refuse to have your child vaccinated. Healthcare providers and Pediatricians always ask for the parents’ consent before the vaccine. If you refuse, it will be recorded in your baby’s vaccination record.

Having said this, you should remember that a number of studies have already proven that vaccines have more advantages for your baby’s health than disadvantages.

Do vaccines have side effects?

Babies can experience side effects from vaccines — the degree of severity of which will depend on your baby. But some common possible side effects from vaccines include:

  • Swelling on the injection site
  • Fever
  • Irritability

To alleviate your baby’s comfort, you can give him paracetamol or ibuprofen for vaccine-related fevers — also upon the recommendation of your Pediatrician especially with regards to the correct dosage and timing. You can the minimize swelling on the injection site via warm compresses. And a lot of hugs and cuddles to manage his irritability.

If my baby has allergies, can he get vaccinated?

Your baby can still get vaccines even if he has been diagnosed with allergies, including asthma, eczema, and a number of food allergies. Feel free to ask your Pediatrician or healthcare provider for further clarifications.

If my baby is sick, should I reschedule his vaccination?

If your baby has a minor illness, you can still let him get vaccinated. However, if he has a fever or colds, then it would be best to reschedule his vaccines and let him recover first.

It is important to keep your own record of your child’s vaccination because this might be needed when he enters school. Bear in mind that a complete immunization can save your baby against life-threatening diseases. If you have doubts and questions about your child’s immunization, always consult your pediatrician for further details and clarification.

References: CDC, What To Expect, Parenting, Baby Vax Facts, NHS, The Asian Parent

Venchi Balendez is a registered nurse and mother of three, working as a part-time article writer.

*All content in this article should be taken as for informational purposes only and should not be considered as medical advice.

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