We get the facts from the ex­perts.

Young Parents (Singapore) - - C NTENTS -

1 First things first: Vac­cines are safe.

Vac­cines work by stim­u­lat­ing a child’s im­mu­nity to pro­duce an­ti­bod­ies against cer­tain in­fec­tious dis­eases, so she can ght them if she comes into con­tact with them, ex­plains Dr Flordeliza Yong, deputy di­rec­tor of School Health Ser­vice at Health Pro­mo­tion Board.

In Sin­ga­pore, vac­cines are as­sessed to be safe for use by the Health Sciences Au­thor­ity.

Mi­nor side ef­fects, such as a low-grade fever and sore­ness at the in­jec­tion site, are pos­si­ble re­ac­tions to some shots. But se­ri­ous al­ler­gic re­ac­tions, such breath­ing difculty, wheez­ing, hives, a fast heart­beat or dizzi­ness, are “ex­tremely rare”, ac­cord­ing to the World Health Or­ga­ni­za­tion (WHO).

In fact, your child is more likely to be se­ri­ously in­jured by a vac­cinepre­ventable disease such as polio, which can cause paral­y­sis, than by a vac­cine, the WHO says.

Af­ter your child’s in­jec­tion, re­main in the clinic’s wait­ing area for 15 min­utes so that she can be ob­served for any ab­nor­mal post-vac­ci­na­tion re­ac­tions, says Dr Pre­deebha Kan­nan, deputy di­rec­tor of Pri­mary Care Academy at Na­tional Health­care Group Poly­clin­ics.

Most clin­ics pro­vide fever med­i­ca­tion – to be used when nec­es­sary – and post-vac­cine ad­vice to par­ents. See a doc­tor im­me­di­ately if your child’s fever per­sists af­ter 24 hours or if she ex­pe­ri­ences con­tin­u­ous cry­ing, ts or other se­ri­ous re­ac­tions men­tioned above.

2 That vac­cine-autism study - it’s a hoax.

There is no ev­i­dence to sup­port the link be­tween the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vac­cine and autism, Dr Pre­deebha says.

The ini­tial 1998 study by Dr An­drew Wakeeld raised con­cerns about the pos­si­ble link and set off wide­spread panic among par­ents, but was later found to be se­ri­ously awed.

An in­ves­ti­ga­tion pub­lished by Bri­tish med­i­cal jour­nal BMJ con­cluded that the study's au­thor mis­rep­re­sented or al­tered the med­i­cal histories of all 12 of the pa­tients stud­ied.

3 Skip or space out cer­tain shots? Don’t risk it.

Although vac­cine-pre­ventable dis­eases, such as polio and measles, are now very un­com­mon in many coun­tries, they con­tinue to cir­cu­late in some parts of the world and may reap­pear quickly when vac­ci­na­tion stops, ac­cord­ing to the WHO.

A case in point: Dur­ing the rst 20 weeks of 2016, the num­ber of measles cases in Sin­ga­pore nearly tripled com­pared to the same pe­riod the previous year, prompt­ing the Health Min­istry to urge par­ents to get their chil­dren vac­ci­nated against the in­fec­tious disease if they hadn’t al­ready. Measles can cause se­ri­ous com­pli­ca­tions, in­clud­ing brain in­fec­tion and blind­ness.

In fact, diph­the­ria and measles vac­ci­na­tions are com­pul­sory by law in Sin­ga­pore.

4 Multi ple shots in a day won’t over­load Baby’s im­mune sys­tem.

Rest as­sured, stud­ies have found that it is safe to give your baby mul­ti­ple shots in a day. Some vac­cines are com­bined into sin­gle shots so your child gets fewer in­jec­tions per visit, Dr Pre­deebha says.

Each day, your lit­tle one is al­ready ex­posed to many for­eign sub­stances that stim­u­late her im­mune sys­tem (known as anti­gens). Ac­cord­ing to the WHO, kids are ex­posed to far more anti­gens from a com­mon cold or sore throat, than they are from vac­cines.

Stud­ies from the Univer­sity of Louisville, Ken­tucky, in the US also found that ba­bies who get mul­ti­ple vac­cines in their rst year of life are no more likely than those who had fewer shots to have de­vel­op­men­tal prob­lems.

In fact, chil­dren who were fully vac­ci­nated per­formed bet­ter in some ar­eas of brain devel­op­ment than the group who de­layed im­mu­ni­sa­tions.

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