A shot in the Arm for Childhood Immunization
Keeping Brooklyn Healthy

A shot in the Arm for Childhood Immunization

Influenza vaccines are developed each year to protect people from the three strains expected to be most prevalent. All the viruses in the vaccine are killed, so it is not possible to get the flu from the vaccine.Influenza vaccines are developed each year to protect people from the three strains expected to be most prevalent. All the viruses in the vaccine are killed, so it is not possible to get the flu from the vaccine.Smallpox once killed millions of people every year. Today, it has ceased to exist. 

Polio was the scourge of the early and mid 20th century, paralyzing thousands of people. Today, the United States is polio-free.

From 1918 to 1920 an influenza pandemic killed as many as 100 million worldwide. Today, flu fatalities have been greatly reduced.

The reason for all these remarkable changes? In a word: immunization.

According to one study, childhood immunization prevents approximately 10.5 million cases of infectious illness a year globally and 33,000 deaths in the US alone. Another report found that 3 million lives are saved worldwide each year through childhood immunizations.

Discovered in the 1790s, the science behind immunization is quite simple. Vaccines contain substances called antigens that cause disease, but in vaccines these antigens are weakened or killed. Injecting these substances essentially “tricks” the body into thinking it’s sick, stimulating your immune system to create antibodies that prevent disease.

Infant Immunization Week is the week of April 21, and if you’re a parent, there’s no better way to safeguard your children’s health than by making sure they have routine immunizations against diseases including diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough, hepatitis, mumps, measles, rubella and influenza.

Yet there’s a growing number of parents who are “vaccine skeptics.” Based on what they’ve heard from a variety of sources including word of mouth and the Internet, many believe vaccinations are dangerous and the cause of numerous childhood afflictions such as autism and cancer. 

But research has repeatedly shown no connection between immunization and a host of childhood diseases and disorders, including autism.

Immunizations can save your child’s life and protect their health. They’re extremely safe and effective. They safeguard people throughout your community. And, they can save your family time and money. 

To make sure your child has the proper immunizations on the proper schedule, check with your pediatrician or contact The Children’s Health Center at 718.250.8671.

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