By: Megan Hayes, CPNP (Peconic Pediatrics, Riverhead & Southold, New York)
Happy National Immunization Awareness Month!
Edward Jenner is often referred to as the father of modern vaccines, but did you know that the first use of immunizations may have been as early as 200 BCE? As history marches on, scientists have learned more and more about how diseases work – and how to prevent them. Sweeping epidemics and dangerous diseases have shaped history, but the CDC reminds us that – thanks to vaccines – we live largely untouched by many diseases that are now considered preventable.
The World Health Organization and UNICEF both advocate for vaccines as “a child’s right” – every child has the right to a healthy life, free from preventable diseases. A vaccine schedule provides a timeframe that allows kids to receive the maximum benefit from each vaccination dose. Of course, not every child sees it that way: Every day, parents and healthcare providers alike work to help kids cope through fear or anxiety due to ‘shots.’ If you as a parent have questions or concerns, there are great online resources to address questions that parents commonly ask at the CDC and The American Academy of Pediatrics. Of course, it is your pediatric office’s primary goal to keep your child healthy and safe, which means that we are available for your questions as well.