The American Academy of Pediatrics, American Academy of Family Physicians, and the U.S. Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommend a specific schedule of immunizations for children up to age 18. Early in life, children are most vulnerable to potentially life-threatening diseases. The recommended immunization schedule is designed to protect children against harmful diseases or make some diseases less severe if they are contracted. Parents who vaccinate their kids are protecting them from a host of diseases by the age of two.
Immunizations boost the body’s own defense system (the immune system) by building immunity from certain diseases and infections without contracting the disease itself. Most child vaccinations contain a small amount of a disease germ that is weakened or dead. There is no trace of the germ inside the vaccine that will make children sick.
Having a bit of the germ inside a child’s body triggers their immune system to build antibodies and fight off the disease. The goal of Ogden Clinic’s child vaccinations is to put these antibodies to work recognizing the disease germ, trapping it, and killing it off.
Immunization antibodies stay in the body for a long time and recall how to fight off diseases they’ve been exposed to. Often, your body will remember how to fight off a germ for the rest of your life. Other diseases may require a booster shot a few months or years after the initial vaccine to remind the body how to kill a particular germ.
View the Center for Disease Control (CDC)’s recommended child vaccination schedule for Ogden children up to age 6 here.