Is your child vaccinated? No, we’re not talking about COVID!
Vaccines are the hottest topic on everyone’s lips at the moment, but the COVID-19 vaccine isn’t the only one parents need to remember. Vaccination is the most important thing we can do to protect our children against ill health. In fact, they prevent up to three million deaths worldwide every year.
Since vaccines were introduced in the UK, diseases like smallpox, polio and tetanus that used to kill or disable millions of people are either gone or seen very rarely.
However, if people stop having vaccines, it’s possible for infectious diseases to quickly spread again and so it is very important to ensure your child is vaccinated.
You’ll usually be contacted by your GP surgery when your child is due for a routine vaccination, however, if you know your child is due for a vaccination, it’s best to speak to your GP surgery to book an appointment, you do not need to wait for them to contact you.
Dr Amy Oehring, local GP and member of the Hull Children, Young People and Families Board, said:
“Vaccines teach your child’s immune system how to create antibodies that protect them from diseases. It’s much safer for their immune system to learn this through vaccination than by catching the diseases and treating them.
“All vaccines are thoroughly tested to make sure they will not harm you or your child and it often takes many years for a vaccine to make it through the trials and tests it needs to pass for approval.
“Protecting your children through vaccination is one of the most important things you can do. I understand it is hard to see your little one feeling uncomfortable, but any mild side effects, such as a high temperature or sore arm, will only last a couple of days and can be eased with liquid paracetamol or ibuprofen.”
You can find out when your child is due their vaccinations online here.
Myth busting. Vaccines do:
protect you and your child from many serious and potentially deadly diseases
protect other people in your community – by helping to stop diseases spreading to people who cannot have vaccines
undergo rigorous safety testing before being introduced – they’re also constantly monitored for side effects after being introduced
sometimes cause mild side effects that will not last long – some children may feel a bit unwell and have a sore arm for 2 or 3 days
reduce or even get rid of some diseases – if enough people are vaccinated
cause autism – studies have found no evidence of a link between the MMR vaccine and autism
overload or weaken the immune system – it’s safe to give children several vaccines at a time and this reduces the amount of injections they need
cause allergies or any other conditions – all the current evidence tells us that vaccinating is safer than not vaccinating
contain mercury (thiomersal)
contain any ingredients that cause harm in such small amounts – but speak to your doctor if you have any known allergies such as eggs or gelatine
If you’re worried about the ingredients in vaccines, you can find out more here.
You can still change your mind.
Sometimes parents choose not to vaccinate, but then later decide to make sure their child is protected.
It’s best for your child to have their vaccinations according to the NHS vaccination schedule, but it’s never too late to check if they can still have them.
Call or visit your GP practice to make sure your child has any vaccinations they have missed, whatever your reason.
If you’re worried about the risk of COVID-19, contact your GP or local health clinic to find out about the measures they have put in place to keep staff and patients safe.
NB This is an Advertorial Feature for NHS Hull CCG