Vaccines

Edwin P. Herd, MD

Pediatrics located in Kailua-Kona, HI

Vaccines are among the most important parts of personal and public health and should be part of your child’s routine pediatric care. Edwin P. Herd, MD, offers the full range of pediatric vaccinations through his practice, and he can help parents in the Kailua-Kona area of Hawaii take this vital step in preventing infectious disease. To learn more, schedule an appointment with Dr. Herd. Online scheduling is available, or you can always set up your visit by calling the office.

Vaccines Q & A

What are vaccines?

Vaccines are essential tools in preventing infectious disease. They’re created from a minute amount of weakened or dead germs that prompts your body’s natural immune response. That means that if you are later exposed to the active version of those germs, your body is prepared to mount an aggressive response and can successfully fight off an infection.

Everyone is born with an immune system that recognizes germs and then produces special proteins called antibodies that fight those germs. Once your child has been exposed to a specific type of germ and fights off that infection, they will develop an immune response that will prevent reinfection for the rest of their life.

Developing immunity by being exposed to disease develops immunity effectively. However, the problem lies in the fact that your child will usually get sick from those germs as he or she builds a natural immunity. In the case of serious diseases, that can be life-threatening.

Vaccines allow your child to build immunity to the most dangerous infectious diseases in the world, without having to go through a bout of sickness.

What types of vaccines are available?

There are many different vaccines available, and Dr. Herd guides you through the options that are right for your child and your family. Common childhood vaccines include:

  • Rotavirus
  • Influenza
  • Varicella (chickenpox)
  • Measles
  • Polio
  • Mumps
  • Rubella
  • Hepatitis A and B
  • Diphtheria
  • Tetanus
  • Pertussis
  • Pneumococcal

Vaccines are administered through injections. The timing of vaccination is important, as some vaccines must be given through multiple shots spaced out over time. Dr. Herd can explain your child’s vaccination schedule and answer any questions you have.

Why should my child be vaccinated for diseases we don’t see in America?

It’s important to understand that vaccination is the reason why we don’t have regular disease epidemics anymore in America. Because most of the American population is vaccinated against things like polio, measles, and rubella, we don’t experience the major outbreaks of the past.

An unfortunate side effect of our success is the belief by some that vaccinations are no longer necessary. However, just because we don’t experience major disease outbreaks doesn’t mean that your child won’t be exposed to these dangerous germs, even if they never cross our nation’s border.

International travel facilitates the movement of germs from places where infectious disease remains a serious health problem. A small number of parents refuse to have their children vaccinated, which means they’re at risk of contracting diseases and spreading those germs.   

To find out which vaccines are right for your child, schedule an appointment with Dr. Herd today, either online or by phone.