Vaccinations: the most frequently asked questions

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Philippe Gloaguen
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Vaccinations questions

How many doubts come to parents who have to vaccinate children! We asked Nicola Principi, professor of pediatrics at the State University of our city, to clarify the most common (and even the most important) ones and to answer the questions most frequent concerning the vaccinations.





In this article

  • Are the vaccines safe?
  • What to do in case of fever or other mild side effects?
  • Why are vaccines said to cause restlessness in infants?
  • My child is cold and has a fever: can I vaccinate him?
  • My child was born premature: how should I regulate?
  • I missed a call. Do I have to start over?
  • My son is basically allergic. Can I vaccinate it?
  • Can vaccines overload the immune system of little ones?
  • How long does it take for the child to be covered by the vaccination?

Are the vaccines safe?

Vaccines, like all drugs, undergo long and rigorous testing procedures before being marketed. Despite this, like any drug, they have side effects that are in any case far inferior to the advantages they provide. (To know the frequency and type of these adverse effects, consult the individual cards, ed).



What to do in case of fever or other mild side effects?

Just remember two words: ice and acetaminophen. In fact, in most cases, children will experience fever (up to 38,5) and swelling and redness at the injection site.



To combat pain, nothing is more effective than an ice pack, while paracetamol, in addition to lowering fever, is also a powerful pain reliever.

On the other hand, anti-inflammatory ointments, especially if based on cortisone, should be avoidedunless prescribed by your doctor.

Do not forget, in case of fever, the general rules:

  • make the child drink a lot
  • and, above all, avoid covering it too much, because it does not accumulate heat.
  • In the event of a high fever, it can be lowered by taking a bath at a temperature 1-2 degrees lower than that of the child's body.

If the fever lasts for more than two days, it is a good idea to have the baby examined as it could be another concomitant infection. There are vaccinations in which the side effects are not immediate but occur after 5-12 days (see the individual sheets).

Read also: The undesirable effects of vaccines

Why are vaccines said to cause restlessness in infants?

Why it can happen: Pain at the injection site and fever can make the baby nervous and lead to crying. If so, proceed as suggested in the previous answer. Only a very intense cry that does not calm down for hours deserves a visit to the pediatrician.

My child is cold and has a fever: can I vaccinate him?

In general, a trivial infection is not a contraindication to vaccination. Only severe infections, very high fever or other non-trivial pathologies deserve a delay. In case of doubt, however, it is advisable to call your pediatrician and the reference vaccination clinic.

My child was born premature: how should I regulate?

Unless he has serious illnesses in progress, he will follow the normal vaccination schedule starting from the real date of birth and not from the one in which he should theoretically have been born.

I missed a call. Do I have to start over?

Absolutely not. The distance between the calls has been studied to optimize the immune response, but our defense system has a good memory and can make up for a possible delay. However, it is important to recover as soon as possible.

My son is basically allergic. Can I vaccinate it?

Only a genuine allergy to one of the vaccine components is a good reason not to administer the dose. A slight intolerance is not in itself sufficient reason. In the case of egg allergy, once considered a reason to avoid vaccines obtained from viral cultures on chicken embryos, it is now considered harmless. In fact, extensive studies have shown that there is no risk.

Can vaccines overload the immune system of little ones?

Absolutely not. Babies are exposed from birth to an incredible number of substances that cause immunization: from food to dust, to name just two trivial examples. Vaccines are antigens, that is, 'substances' capable of waking up the immune system, just like the others we find in the environment.

The immune system can recognize and fight millions of different microorganisms: immunology studies have amply demonstrated this.

Vaccines make up a small fraction of the pathogens around us, and the rumor that vaccines weaken the immune system should also be dispelled. Exactly the opposite is true: a system capable of recognizing and combating more dangers is a more efficient, no less active system.

How long does it take for the child to be covered by the vaccination?

It typically takes a few weeks for the immunization process to complete and coverage to be effective.

TAG:
  • first year
  • vaccinations for children
  • Frequent questions
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