There’s a saying that goes “an apple a day keeps the doctor away.” But when you think about it, you and your child shouldn’t even be avoiding the doctor. Especially in the first few years, but instead, you should have regular check ups so that you can monitor your child’s development.
In these regular visits, vaccinations are usually conducted. To find out more about vaccinations, we set an interview with an expert from the field of pediatrics. Coming from a family filled with doctors, Dr. Jay Ignacio, a graduate of St. Luke’s College of Medicine and a pediatrician at Metro Antipolo Hospital and Medical Center, Inc., shares that they have a family clinic in Marikina which was actually started by his grandfather.
“I noticed that most of our patients were children. And this is what eventually drove me to specialize in pediatrics,” he shares. “Parents would scare their children whenever they were rowdy and say that they were going to get a shot because they were too noisy,” he recounts.
In this article, Dr. Ignacio shares his experiences as a medical practitioner as well as his thoughts on the importance of vaccinations.
Why Are Vaccinations Important?
Vaccines are actually made up of weak or dead germs that can cause diseases. Despite the initial reaction some people may have when they hear this reaction for the first time, the injection of these germs into your system actually prepares your body to fight certain diseases faster and more effectively so that you won’t get sick.
Vaccines play an important role in keeping us healthy. Dr. Ignacio shares that, “the immune system of children are not that developed so it is good that we have the technology to give safe and effective vaccines for them.”
Aside from being a prevention, vaccines can also be seen as an investment. Not only does it prevent fatal diseases, but it also saves you money from possible expensive treatments in the future.
Furthermore, having your child vaccinated does not only keep them safe, but it also keeps other people in your community from getting sick. “If you vaccinate your children, or if most of the children in your area is vaccinated, you also protect the community through their immunity.”
What Vaccinations Should You Get?
Vaccination schedules depend on your age and even occupation. There are separate schedules for child, adult, and healthcare worker immunizations. Dr. Ignacio shares that “children should get the vaccines recommended by the National Immunization Program of the Philippines, Philippine Pediatrics Society, and World Health Organization.
Dr. Ignacio shares his thoughts on the controversy of Dengvaxia, a vaccine that aimed to protect children from dengue. “When it comes to issues like that, I think that it is the responsibility of the government or the media to give proper information because if they don’t give clear information, it may cause unnecessary panic to the public.”
Despite its purpose of preventing dengue, dengvaxia had cause the death of two people due to vaccine failure. Vaccine failure is when an organism develops a disease despite being vaccinated against it. It is primarily caused by the organism not being able to produce antibodies to combat the virus when they were first vaccinated.
“Because of what happened, there is a distrust in the program,” Dr. Ignacio says. “And this distrust is not only towards vaccination, but also towards the programs of the government.”
Vaccinations are usually given during checkups. Dr. Ignacio informs us that “for newborns and infants, their checkups should at least be monthly for their vaccinations.” As they get older, “they should visit the pediatrician at least twice a year.” And for adolescents, “they should get a yearly check up so that doctors can administer the catch up vaccinations for teenage patients.”
Checkups are done for your health and for your children. If you are interested in booking an appointment with Dr. Ignacio or any of our pediatricians, simply visit SeeYouDoc and look through our list of licensed doctors!