Vaccinations play an important role in protecting your child against serious diseases. We answer some of the most commonly asked questions about vaccinations amidst a pandemic.
How do vaccines work?
No human being is immune to diseases; infants are especially vulnerable as their immune system has yet to be fully developed. Receiving routine jabs is one of the most effective forms of prevention that will help to safeguard your child – and the rest of the population – against the rapid spread of infectious and potentially life-threatening diseases.
So how exactly does immunisation work? Vaccines are chemicals that are injected into your body to stimulate the production of “defences” called antibodies, which help to fight off harmful bacteria and viruses before they can even take root in your system. What’s more, these antibodies remain in your bloodstream to develop protection against future infections if you are ever exposed to the disease.
What are the vaccinations for?
All newborns go through a series of routine vaccinations from the moment they are born till they are 15 years old. Under the National Immunisation Programme by the Ministry of Health Malaysia, your child will receive immunisation against the following diseases:
- Hepatitis B
- Pertussis (whooping cough)
- Haemophilus influenza type B
- Pneumococcal infection
- Human papillomavirus
Is there a vaccine available for the novel coronavirus?
As of publishing date, there’s still no available vaccine that can help to prevent the spread of COVID-19. However, scientists and researchers around the world are working hard on developing a safe and effective vaccine as well as antibodies for the masses.
Should my child delay vaccination during the COVID-19 pandemic? What are some considerations I should take note of?
Is it recommended to get an influenza vaccination amidst the pandemic?
What else can I do to protect my child from COVID-19?
You and your family can do your part to avoid infections by practicing good hygiene habits such as washing your hands frequently, keeping a safe distance from others, and wearing a mask if you’re sick. Also, make sure to clean and disinfect high-contact surfaces with antibacterial wipes including the playmats, baby toys and diaper-changing countertops.
And if you’re wondering, breastfeeding is still possible for nursing mums as there’s no evidence that the virus can be transmitted through breast milk. In fact, breastfeeding has tons of health benefits as it contains antibodies that will help to boost their immune system. Despite that, you should always take extra hygiene precautions when breastfeeding. And if you’re feeling unwell, use a breast pump to express the milk and feed from a clean, well-sterilised bottle.