4- year-old Timi was such an active child. He loved playing with his friends and going to school. He had just started kindergarten, and he looked forward to going to school every day. The best part of his day was when Miss Fagbemi let them go outside to the playground. Timi loved playing in the grass, and if it had rained that made it even better, because he loved the feeling of wet grass and mud on his hands.
One day, Timi fell sick. He had a high fever, cough, and a runny nose. His mother took him to the doctor, who diagnosed him with measles. Fortunately, he recovered after a week of rest and medication, but his parents worried about how he got infected.
The doctor explained that measles is a contagious disease caused by a virus that can easily spread through coughing and sneezing. However, he said that the best way to prevent the disease was through immunisation. Timi’s parents had heard about vaccinations, but they were not sure about its safety and effectiveness.
The doctor reassured them that immunisation is a safe and effective way to protect their child from many serious illnesses, including measles, polio, tetanus, hepatitis, and others. He explained that vaccines work by triggering the body’s immune system to produce antibodies that fight off the disease-causing germs. These antibodies continue to circulate in the body, ready to fight the germs if they ever invade again.
Timi’s parents understood the importance of immunisation and decided to get him vaccinated as per the recommended schedule. They learned that by vaccinating their child, they were not only protecting him but also contributing to the greater good of society by reducing the spread of infectious diseases.
Over the years, Timi received all the recommended vaccines and enjoyed good health. He grew up to be big and strong, and still played in the mud, but this time, didn’t get sick.
Immunisation is an important and effective method of preventing the spread of infectious diseases and promoting personal health. It is the process of exposing an individual to a vaccine to develop immunity against a specific disease or viruses. It is a proven and widely accepted practice worldwide that helps to build a safe and healthy community.
Immunization is often confused with Vaccination. Vaccination is known as the act of introducing a vaccine into the body to produce protection from a specific disease, while immunisation is the process by which a person becomes protected against a disease through vaccination. Immunisation is often used interchangeably with vaccination or inoculation.
The importance of immunisation on personal health cannot be overemphasized. It helps to protect individuals from dangerous and sometimes deadly infections, particularly for those who are at high risk of contracting certain illnesses, such as children, senior citizens, pregnant women, and people with chronic medical conditions. Immunisation is effective in preventing the spread of serious diseases such as measles, polio, tetanus, diphtheria, hepatitis B, meningitis, and HPV, to mention a few. Other important reasons to vaccinate your child:
● Immunisation can save your child’s life. Like Timi in the story, young children enjoy playing and experimenting with different textures and surfaces. Immunisation allows your child to feed their curiosity without endangering their life.
● Vaccination is very safe and effective. Vaccination has been practiced for a long time, and studies show it to be effective in preventing childhood diseases.
● Immunisation protects others you care about. Vaccinating your child not only protects them, but you and other members of your family as well. Many vaccines preventable diseases are highly infectious.
● Immunisations can save your family time and money. Vaccines are usually free, hence cost effective.
Immunisation also plays a crucial role in reducing healthcare costs and improving the quality of life for individuals and families. By reducing the incidence and severity of infectious diseases, immunisation reduces the need for costly medical treatments and hospitalisations. In addition, people who receive vaccines are less likely to miss work or school due to illness, leading to increased productivity.
Moreover, immunisation helps individuals to maintain a high level of public health and ensures that individuals in a community develop herd immunity. Herd immunity is where a large number of people in a community are immune to an infection, thus reducing the probability of an outbreak. This is especially important in populations that are too young and too old (younger than 18 and older than 65)
Children can be immunised up until the age of 18, however, adult immunisations are also available. Different countries have an immunisation schedule, which can be gotten at hospitals or health canters.