How Vaccines Strengthen Your Baby’s Immune System
Although children continue to get several vaccines up to their second birthday and sometimes, several in one office visit, these vaccines do not overload the immune system.
Children are exposed to thousands of germs every day. This happens through the food they eat, the air they breathe, and the things they put in their mouth.
Babies are born with immune systems that can fight most germs, but some germs cause serious or even deadly diseases a baby can’t handle. For those, babies need the help of vaccines.
Vaccines use very small amounts of antigens to help your child’s immune system recognize and learn to fight serious diseases. Antigens are the parts of a germ that cause the body’s immune system to go to work.
Thirty years ago, vaccines used 3,000 antigens to protect against 8 diseases by age two. Today, vaccines use 305 antigens to protect against 14 diseases by age two.
Thanks to scientific advances, today’s vaccines can protect children from more diseases using fewer antigens. Vaccines contain only a tiny fraction of the antigens that babies encounter in their environment every day.