Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux
Immunization through one or more vaccines stimulates the defence cells to produce substances called antibodies. This is a perfectly natural protective reaction. The antibodies provide the vaccinated person with protection before the appearance of the diseases caused by the actual germs. Immunization remains the most effective public health measure and its safe use makes it one of the best preventive measures available today. Although vaccination is not mandatory in Québec, it is strongly recommended by the ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux and experts around the globe. The best protection that can be offered against certain serious diseases is to ensure that the child is vaccinated. The first vaccine is given at the age of two months to protect the baby early on. Several doses of vaccine are sometimes required to establish protection and maintain a sufficient amount of protective antibodies. A nursing baby should also be vaccinated at the recommended ages.
2 months 4 months 6 months 18 months
Advantages to having your child vaccinated It is important to have your child vaccinated even though the diseases preventable through vaccination have almost all been eliminated. Here are the reasons why:
Risks to the child Vaccines are very safe and generally do not cause any reaction. The most frequent unwanted reactions, i.e. discomfort in the thigh or arm, or slight fever, are mild and temporary. Getting vaccinated is a lot more effective than taking the risk of catching a disease that the vaccine can prevent.
Vaccines and the immune system Vaccines cannot wear out a child’s immune system. From birth, the human body defends itself against thousands of different germs found in food, air and water, or on objects. Vaccination stimulates the immune system so that it can fight the disease after contact with the germ that causes it.
Vaccines and antibiotics A child who does not have a fever can be vaccinated according to the schedule, even if he or she is taking antibiotics, or has an ear infection or a runny nose. It is important to have your child vaccinated at the recommended ages.
Vaccines, diet and health Proper diet and good health are important, but are not sufficient to prevent infectious diseases. Even though a healthy child is more resistant to infections, he or she is at risk for catching diseases and suffering complications. Good health and proper diet are the natural allies of vaccines, but do not replace them.
Children aged two months to 16 years of age.
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