Vaccination – The Best Protection Against Serious Infectious Diseases

Even if many serious infectious diseases have become rare in our country, the pathogens are still a severe threat. Vaccination is the best protection here. Younger people in particular no longer know from their own experience how dangerous diphtheria, whooping cough, polio, and other infectious diseases are.

For example, are and how quickly and widely these contagious diseases can spread, especially among unprotected children. Thanks to extensive vaccination programs and improved hygienic conditions, many serious infectious diseases have become rare in Europe these days.

The Causative Agents Of Dangerous Contagious Diseases Are Still There

Some parents ask themselves why they should have their children vaccinated against diseases that rarely or no longer occur. But many conditions are still widespread in other countries because the causative agents of these diseases still exist.

The more people are unprotected here, the easier it is for them to spread again here. Example polio: The last case of polio occurred in 1990, and since 2002 polio has been eradicated. Nevertheless, polio vaccinations are still necessary today because, in some countries in Asia and Africa.

Vaccination – Protection Without An Alternative

Vaccinations against infectious diseases that can be difficult and do not always heal without consequences, such as polio, whooping cough, diphtheria, measles, or tetanus, are valuable and essential, even if they have become quite rare thanks to vaccinations. Because in the age of frequent and long journeys, diseases that have become rare here can still pose a severe threat to the child’s health: Unvaccinated children and adults can become infected and transmit the pathogen to other unprotected people.

With some diseases, for example, rubella, not everyone gets sick after infection, so that the pathogen can be transmitted unnoticed. Some parents assume that infectious diseases can be treated quickly and easily using modern medicine. But anyone who catches an infectious disease such as measles runs the risk of secondary damage. Drugs can only suppress symptoms, such as fever, but cannot fight the pathogen. The middle ear, lung, or brain infections and, very rarely, fatal courses resulting from measles cannot always be prevented.

Vaccination Recommendations

The vaccination recommendations are made by the Standing Vaccination Commission (STIKO), an independent commission of experts. The sense and benefit of vaccinations are carefully weighed and assessed according to current scientific knowledge.

The recommended vaccinations are only directed against diseases that can be severe and do not always heal without consequences. The costs of the vaccinations recommended by the STIKO are covered by health insurance.

Development Of A Complete Vaccination Protection

If the body is to produce sufficient antibodies, it must be “trained” in several units. Reliable vaccination protection is therefore only achieved if all partial vaccinations have been carried out at certain time intervals. The dates are set in the vaccination calendar. However, if you miss a vaccination, it can be made up at any time.

The so-called primary immunization, i.e., the establishment of complete vaccination protection for infants and toddlers, should start from 6 weeks and be completed by the end of the 2nd year of life. With some vaccinations, the protection lasts a lifetime. With others, it has to be refreshed again in adulthood (whooping cough) or regularly (tetanus and diphtheria). Tetanus disease (tetanus) is a fatal infection that can be safely prevented by regular booster vaccinations every ten years.

There are time guidelines and vaccination schedules for all booster vaccinations. In the case of particular questions, a blood test can also clarify whether a booster vaccination is necessary or not. In this context, also think about your vaccination and that of your siblings. In some cases, the vaccination appointments can be attended simultaneously as the early diagnosis examinations. It would help if you discussed the exact vaccination dates with your pediatrician.

Why A Measles Vaccination Is Important

Measles is among the most contagious infectious diseases in humans. They can lead to severe complications, in the sporadic and worst case to encephalitis with fatal outcome. Vaccination protects you from measles for life.

  • For children, we recommend building up vaccination protection in two steps: The first vaccination takes between the ages of 11 and 14 months, and the second vaccination no earlier than 4 weeks after the first vaccination and no later than the end of the second year of life. The first measles vaccination can be given from the age of 9 months if the child is admitted to a community facility before 11 months.
  • Even adults born after 1970 are recommended vaccination if they have not or are only vaccinated once in childhood measles. This also applies to unclear vaccination status. You will receive a one-time vaccination.
  • There is a particular situation for babies. If a mother develops protective antibodies against measles before pregnancy (in most cases through vaccination), her baby is protected from measles infection in the first few months of life by the so-called nest protection. However, the maternal antibodies in the baby’s blood dwindle more and more after the first few months of life. Since babies cannot be vaccinated against measles until they are 9 months old at the earliest, there can be a gap in the defense against measles. During this time, babies are particularly at risk of contracting measles.

So everyone who gets vaccinated protects not only themselves but also others. This also benefits children and adults who cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons such as B. an immune deficiency. Only when 95 percent of the population in Germany is protected can the disease no longer spread. One then speaks of community protection. This is what the new measles protection law aims at.

Also Read: What Happens When You Vaccinate?

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