"Vaccines: Preventing Disease and Protecting Health" is a worthy example of a paper on the immune system. Vaccination is one of the commonly used practices aimed at protecting children against serious diseases, which may attack them when their immune system is still developing. During the early stages of human development, the body has an extremely weak immune system that requires support from factors such as vaccines. Therefore, a child should receive the vaccines recommended in the childhood immunization schedule. Statistics provided by the World Health Organisation show that children living in North America are the most vaccinated on earth.
For the last three decades, the Canadian vaccination schedule has doubled the number of vaccines children receive in the first eighteen months of their lives. Canadian Public health authorities recommend an average of 36 doses of fourteen different vaccines (Sacks 30). However, vaccination in Canada is not mandatory, but some rules and regulations ensure that a high number of Canadian children get vital vaccines that protect them from serious diseases. In some Canadian provinces, children have to receive certain vaccines before they get school admission.
Parents with intentions to take their children to schools should give consent of whether their children should be vaccinated or not. Children registered in Canadian schools without receiving the necessary vaccination must remain at home in case of any outbreak of communicable diseases. The Canadian public health authorities have designed this rule in order to protect the unimmunized children from contacting disease outbreaks and at the same time controlling the spread of the disease outbreak (Sacks 33). The school entry regulation plays a vital role in ensuring that parents follow carefully on their children’ s vaccination schedule, which keeps their children safe from serious diseases.
However, it is necessary to note that immunity is also acquired naturally as the child is growing. While a fetus is developing in its mother’ s womb, any antibodies present in the mother’ s circulatory system are able to cross the placenta into the developing fetus. Therefore, by the time a child is born, there is already existing immunity that can protect the child from diseases. During the breastfeeding period, the child receives multiple immune factors from the mother’ s milk and nutrient factors supplied by foods given to the growing child (Sacks 35). Breastfeeding is highly vital for every growing child since it helps the child to develop its immunity; it also assists the child in adapting to numerous changes that occur during the early stages of human life (Quadros 116).
The environment exposes us to a lot of diseases. When a person gets infected, the body’ s immune system develops permanent immunity comprised of memory cells. The memory cells can be able to recognize any pathogen that had previously entered a person’ s body system, allowing the body to produce active antibodies to fight the pathogens.
This form of immunity is the best because most vaccines do not provide permanent immunity. A perfect immunity is also achieved through a healthy lifestyle once a child stops breastfeeding. A healthy lifestyle should include excellent nutrition, enough rest, living free of toxins, and expressing love to growing children (Quadros 121). In Canada, production and licensing of human vaccines are regulated by the Biologics and Genetic Therapeutics Directorate of Health Canada. Vaccines must go through all stages of rigorous testing before they are licensed for use (Sacks 38). Pros and Cons of using Vaccines Today, vaccination is particularly relevant to everyone despite the fact that people have adopted healthy living styles, and some diseases initially regarded as highly infectious have vanished in some parts of the world (Vardaxis 17).
Numerous studies done on the effectiveness of vaccines provide exceedingly essential statistics, which indicate how human mortality rates from preventable diseases have declined as a result of vaccination. Harvard Medical School has reported that vaccines have the potential to protect children from deadly diseases when vulnerability is high.
In addition to this, vaccines are also highly effective in protecting the entire community from the deadly disease outbreaks because they are able to boost the immune system quickly. Parents may also plan to travel with their children to countries that may predispose children to communicable infections that can be prevented through vaccination. It is advisable to take children for vaccination in order to keep them safe from any unpredicted infectious diseases (Vardaxis 85). On the other hand, vaccines cause numerous harmful effects on the vaccinated person.
Some of the negative effects produced by vaccines are as a result of the ingredients used to produce the vaccines (Vardaxis 146). Vaccine production involves the use of potentially harmful substances that cause adverse body reactions due to their high toxicity. The use of tissue culture techniques in vaccine production may cause harmful contaminations on the produced vaccines. A number of vaccine trials have turned tragic after the administered vaccines get into the body system in their active form and cause infections.
In other instances, viral contaminations on vaccines have caused unexpected infections during vaccine trials (Vardaxis 148). The issue of vaccines damaging the immune system has also raised a lot of concern. A healthy immune system comprises two parts; Th1 and Th2. The Th1 is responsible for detecting harmful agents that get into the body and responds by triggering Th2 to produce essential antibodies to fight the harmful agents. In the early stages of life when the immune system is still developing, Th2 dominates, but later, Th1 takes over when the immune system matures.
The presence of vaccines in the body interferes with the normal process through which the body fights infections naturally. With vaccines present, the role of Th1 is bypassed; vaccines triggering Th2 produce antibodies. Over time, Th1 is dominated by Th2 and this may result in autoimmune disorders, allergic reactions, and other serious infections (Vardaxis 237). Conclusion The main aim of using vaccines is to boost the immune system within the shortest time possible. Vaccines have proved to be highly effective in preventing some serious infectious diseases that may be a threat to developing children.
The immunity provided by vaccines is short-lived in most cases, but as a person is developing, the body system can generate permanent immunity. The latter makes childhood vaccines lose relevancy, but medical researchers strongly support the use of vaccines in order to provide protection against preventable infections. Therefore, stopping the use of vaccines will make society highly vulnerable to infections that can be easily preventable.
Quadros, Ciro. Vaccines: Preventing Disease & Protecting Health. New York: Pan American Health Orgisation, 2004. Print.
Sacks, Diane. The Canadian Paediatric Society Guide to Caring for Your Child from Birth. New York: John Wiley and Sons, 2009. Print.
Vardaxis, Nicholas. Immunology for the Health Sciences. London: Macmillan Education AU, 1995. Print.