Fact Or Fiction

Overwhelming The Immune System

FACT: Vaccines do not overwhelm a baby’s immune system”

Some parents think that the number of vaccines on the recommended schedule is too many, too soon and could overwhelm an infant’s tiny body.

The truth is that your child's immune system is stronger than you think. Their little bodies can “handle” a lot and can respond to multiple vaccines at once.

From the minute they are born, a child is exposed to hundreds, even thousands, of foreign particles in the form of fungi, bacteria and viruses. Babies’ immune systems are designed to protect them from these bacteria and viruses that challenge their immune system daily. Babies are capable of responding to these germs because they have the ability to make antibodies.

The vaccines given in the first two years of life are a raindrop in the ocean of what a baby’s immune system fends off everyday.

In fact, your child is exposed to more antigens in her environment than to those in all her vaccinations combined. Experts know that a child's immune system is well equipped to handle these antigens, or immune triggers, contained in multiple vaccines.

While your child’s immune system is strong enough and prepared to handle these daily challenges and the immune response triggered by vaccines, there is no telling what effect an infectious disease will have on their body. A child’s immune system is not strong enough to fight off infectious diseases like measles or meningitis, which is why we vaccinate at such a young age.

It’s true that the number of vaccines recommended for your child is much larger than the handful of vaccines you received as a child, but the quantity of vaccines available today increases the quality of protection.

Not only is your child receiving greater protection from more diseases, the vaccines in use today contain fewer antigens than vaccines used in past generations. That means that vaccines are better and safer than when you were a child. Vaccine safety has improved over time. Each vaccine added to the CDC recommended schedule will prevent unnecessary sickness, hospitalization, disability or death.

Moreover, it’s important to give vaccines on the CDC recommended schedule because it’s the best way to protect your child from disease. And you should know that there is no increased risk of side effects by giving multiple vaccines.

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