As a parent, you may not like seeing your baby or child being given an injection. However, vaccination will help protect them against a range of serious and potentially fatal diseases.
There are three good reasons to have your child vaccinated:
- vaccinations are quick, safe and extremely effective
- once your child has been vaccinated against a disease, their body can fight it off better
- if a child isn't vaccinated, they're at higher risk of catching - and becoming very ill from - the illness
There will always be some children who are unavoidably unprotected because:
- they can't be vaccinated for medical reasons
- they're too young to be vaccinated
- they can't get to the vaccine clinics
- the vaccine doesn't work (although this is rare)
However, if more parents have their children vaccinated, then more children in the community will be protected against an illness. This lowers the chance of a measles outbreak.
Can you overload a child's immune system?
You may be concerned that too many vaccines at a young age could "overload" your child's immune system, but this really isn't the case. Studies have shown that vaccines don't weaken a child's immune system.
As soon as a baby is born, they come into contact with a huge number of different bacteria and viruses every day, and their immune system copes well.
The bacteria and viruses used in vaccines are weakened or killed, and there are far fewer of them than the natural bugs that babies and children come into contact with.
In fact, if a child was given 11 vaccines all at the same time, it would only use a thousandth of their immune system!
Watch this short animation to find out more.
Find out about vaccine safety
Read these articles to find out more about vaccine safety, plus the risks and benefits:
Article provided by NHS Choices