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Before the measles vaccine was introduced in 1963, almost everyone in the United States contracted the disease, which was responsible for hundreds of deaths every year. Today, most doctors have never seen a case of measles thanks to immunizations. At Natomas Family Practice in Sacramento, California, Dr. Patrick Lau provides every immunization your child needs, offering a lifetime of protection against potentially dangerous diseases. To give your child the best protection possible, call or book an appointment online.
Think of immunizations as a fire drill for your child’s body. Just as your child’s school sounds the alarm and the children practice exiting the building to safety in orderly lines, immunizations work to prepare your child’s body to successfully fight off disease.
To provide this protection, Dr. Lau injects a small amount of the killed or weakened virus into your child’s system. When your child’s body detects this foreign bacteria, it sounds an alarm and the immune system responds by sending in antibodies to fight off the invaders. In fighting off this small amount of the virus, your child’s body trains itself to recognize the bacteria and beefs up its defenses for any future encounters.
By introducing a harmless amount of the disease into your child’s system at a young age, your child’s body is set up for a lifetime of defense.
While you pass on many of your antibodies to your child before he or she is born, these antibodies wear off within a few months after birth, which is why it’s important to supply children with their own defenses as early as possible. Dr. Lau recommends that children’s vaccines be given between age 2 months and 6 years old. These vaccines include:
Many of these immunizations are combined, requiring fewer injections for your child. Several of these vaccines also require boosters, but Dr. Lau ensures that you understand the recommended schedule, and he and his staff remind you when your child is due.
As your child grows older, Dr. Lau recommends regular flu shots and a vaccine against the human papillomavirus, which he administers between the ages of 9 and 15.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the United States has the safest, most effective vaccine supply in its history.
The most commonly reported side effects are redness, swelling, or tenderness at the injection site, which usually resolves itself in a day or two. Since Dr. Lau administers the immunizations in his office, he’s able to check for any reactions, which are rare. In the end, the protection that vaccines provide far outweigh any risk.
To get started on your child’s immunizations, call Natomas Family Practice or book an appointment online.