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HEALTHBEAT 4: Keeping up with vaccinations

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(KTIV) -- Getting back to school often means getting up to date on your required vaccinations. The diseases vaccines prevent can be dangerous, or even deadly.

According to the centers for disease control and prevention, vaccinating your child when they are born provides a boost and protection to their immune system:

Children are exposed to thousands of germs every day through things they eat or touch. Babies are born with immune systems that can fight most germs, but there are some deadly diseases they can’t handle.

Vaccines use very small amounts of antigens to help your child's immune system recognize and learn to fight serious diseases.

"They're important because they can protect you from getting a disease that can be harmful or deadly," said Jeremy Granger, UnityPoint Health Clinic Pediatrician

Vaccinations are nothing new but they're something many of us will have by the age of two.

"It's designed around giving you the right amount of protection before you are at risk of actually catching the disease or being exposed to the disease and the when is tied to the optimal timing to build the right amount of antibodies or protection against the disease," said Dr. Granger.

Protection against diseases like diphtheria, measles, mumps and rubella.

"We're presenting antigens or pieces of the protein to the body and they can recognize it so if they encounter it they've got defenses prepared, vs if they didn't the illnesses could overwhelm them before they can mount a response," said Dr. Granger.

Dr. Granger says they follow a schedule for the vaccinates and give them depending on a schedule. He says there are a lot of misconceptions out there, saying vaccines are not safe.

"If you want to find bad information, you may not realize it's bad information but whatever google search term that you type, you'll find something. Doesn't mean its legitimate or good information," said Dr. Granger.

But he says vaccines are safe for your child.

"it's all about how do we protect these children. How do we keep them from getting the diseases that a lot of us have seen kids harmed by in the past."

Dr. Granger says if kids don't get the vaccines they need, and then come down with a serious illness…the consequences could range from mild symptoms to even death.

"Measles as people know, for some back in the day that was a mild illness but for a lot that was encephalitis or death and rather than take a roll of the dice and see where your kid is going to land, we just have these vaccines so we can prevent them from actually occurring," said Dr. Granger.

Michaela Feldmann

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