00:04 Immunisation works by tricking your body’s defence against infection into thinking they’ve already seen the infection, so that when the real infection comes along you’re already protected.
00:18 When we’re trying to make a vaccine the first thing we do is make sure that it’s safe or that it causes no problems and induces the right sort of immune responses. Once it’s been through extensive safety testing, trials are done on volunteer humans and again, the first priority is to show that the vaccine is safe and then once it’s been shown safe we check to make sure that it’s also working against the infections. At that point the vaccine can be licenced for use and once licenced we then start making sure that the vaccine continues to be safe by monitoring people who’ve had the vaccine and checking that the vaccine, has first of all protected them but also given them no major side effects. Vaccines are amongst the safest of all the medications we use and the ongoing monitoring ensures that continues to be the case.
01:13 So we’ve kind of forgotten about how serious these infections are mumps, measles, chicken pox, one of these infections, which could kill them. And the vaccines work to protect your child against being infected with these diseases.
You never know when your child is going to come in contact with someone who’s got one of these infections so the best way to protect them is to make sure they’re fully immunised. In immunising your child you also protect other children. Some children don’t respond to vaccines, they can’t be protected by the vaccine but if you make sure that enough people in the community are protected by vaccines, then if an infection comes it can’t spread. And therefore these children that aren’t protected because they can’t respond to the vaccines are still protected because everyone around about them is protected.
01:54 Some diseases which adults can have and that are not too serious in adults can be passed to children and in children these diseases always tend to be much more severe. For example whooping cough is a relatively minor, although irritating illness, for adults but passed to a child it can be totally lethal and therefore it’s really important that we get children vaccinated effectively against these diseases because they are much more vulnerable to the effects of the illness.
02:24 The timing of the vaccines that we use routinely has been worked out carefully to capture the best benefit for kids. Some infections are most commonly serious if you get them very young in life so we protect early against those infections. Some become more serious in later life and therefore we protect later in life. We also have to remember that some vaccines work best once the mother’s immunity that’s passed to the child at birth has faded away because otherwise the vaccines simply can’t take, if you like, they can’t work. Most vaccines require more than one shot to get full protection and we’ve worked out a program to make sure that protection can be rapidly and safely achieved. If you happen to miss a vaccine don’t worry about it, go along and talk about it with your GP. The vaccine can still be taken late it just means your child won’t be so quickly protected.
03:22 For most children there are no side effects at all, but it’s not uncommon to have minor side effects like a sore arm, slight fever, or the child may be irritable for 24 hours. If you’re concerned about these side effects discuss them with your doctor.
Immunisation saves lives. Get the facts.
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