1. Importance of Immunization:
Without immunization, an averse of three out of every hundred children born will die from measles. Another two will die from whooping cough. One more will die from tetanus. And out of every two hundred children, one will be disabled by polio.
Children can be protected against these diseases by vaccines. It is therefore essential that all parents and child welfare workers know why, when, where, and how many times their infants should be immunized.
2. Why Immunization:
Immunization protects against several dangerous diseases. A child who is not immunized is more likely to become undernourished, to become disabled, and to die.
Immunisation protects children against some of the most dangerous diseases of childhood. A child is immunised by vaccines, which are injected or given by mouth. The vaccines work by building up the child’s defenses. If the diseases strike before a child is immunized, immunization is too late.
A child who is not immunised is very likely to get measles and whooping cough. These diseases can kill. But even children who survive these diseases are weakened by them and may die later from malnutrition or other illnesses.
Measles is also an important cause of malnutrition, mental retardation, and blindness.
An unimmunised child will almost certainly be infected with the poliovirus. And for every 200 children who are infected, one will be crippled for life.
Tetanus germs grow in dirty cuts and kill most of the people who become infected if they are not immunised.
Breastfeeding is a kind of natural immunization against several diseases. Some of the mother’s resistance to diseases is passed to the child in her breast milk, and especially in the thick yellow milk (called colostrum), which is produced during the first few days after the birth.
3. Urgency of Immunisation:
Immunisation is urgent. All immunisations should be completed in the first year of the child’s life.
It is vital to immunize children early in life. Half of all deaths from whooping cough, one third of all cases of polio, and quarter of all deaths from measles, occur before the age of one year.