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Why immunizations are required

As parents, you are always thinking about your child’s health and safety.  It is a parental obligation to protect them from anything that could cause them harm.

There are potentially grave (capable of causing severe injury or death) illnesses that can be avoided by means of the application of vaccines. Although these sicknesses are now rare, they have not been totally eradicated.. Many of the viruses and bacteria that cause them are still extant, and in a world in which so many people mix and mingle because of frequent travel, these sicknesses can easily be spread to different countries and populations. 
For this reason it is indispensable that children receive a complete set of vaccinations on time in order to avoid a massive comeback of these illnesses.

The function of these vaccines is to immunize - protect - your children from the gravest and most lethal forms of infectious diseases. : By ensuring that your children have all of the necessary immunizations, you will help us to preserve the health in the school, especially since all of the children are boarding together and will be sharing the same space for long periods of time. In such environments, a sick child could get others ill despite most normal hygiene precautions. If all children have the necessary vaccinations, their bodies will be prepared to fight against the germs that cause disease.  This will ensure the good health of your child during this year and ensure that he or she will not get another child sick. 

That is why it is so important that all of the vaccination paperwork be filled out very carefully and correctly, and that any vaccinations that are missing be administered by a doctor. In the event that a vaccination is missing, it will be administered at the Academy. However, this option is neither preferred nor encouraged.

The illnesses that vaccinations seek to prevent are:

Influenza

Influenza (flu) is caused by a respiratory virus, and is a much more dangerous illness than the children´s common cold (especially if a child suffers from asthma or another chronic illness). The vaccine is updated yearly, since flu viruses mutate and change from season to season. It is therefore important to get the shot by September or as soon as the updated vaccine is available. Although the vaccine will not always prevent all flu symptoms, it is very useful in preventing grave complications that could lead to hospitalization or death.

One dosage required.

Hepatitis B

An illness of the liver caused by a virus. Patients can remain infected without greater symptoms or trouble, but with the passage of time they can develop problems of cirrosis or hepatitic cancer.
Three dosages required to insure an efficient immunization.

Tetanus, diptheria, & pertussis

Tetanus is a grave illness caused by a bacteria found freely in the atmosphere. It is resistant to heat and to antibacterial cleaning agents. It penetrates the body through a cut in the skin, provokes alterations in the nervous system such as rigidness in the neck and abdomen, difficulties in breathing and swallowing, and intense muscle spasms that in the worst of cases result in fractures in the backbone or in the largest bones in the body. It is an infectious disease but is not contagious, and it can only be prevented by vaccination so that people are not vulnerable.

Diphtheria is a highly contagious respiratory illness caused by bacteria. It causes heart and nervous system problems, provokes fever and sore throat that can lead to fatal obstruction of breathing passages.
Pertussis is a highly contagious respiratory illness caused by bacteria that provoke prolonged coughing fits that make basic functions like eating, drinking and breathing quite difficult. It can cause pneumonia, encephalitis, or death.

Four shots should be administered. 

Polio

Polio is a viral infection that attacks the lymph nodes and nervous system.  In grave cases it can cause progressive paralysis to the point of complete invalidity.

3 shots required.  

Measles, Mumps and Rubella.

These three illnesses are caused by viruses and are highly contagious. The vaccine will offer protection from all three infections (MMR). Measles is an illness that can cause complications such as pnuemonia, encephalitis (brain swelling) and even death.

Rubella affects the skin, glands, and causes joint pain for up to two weeks.

The mumps causes the salivary glands to increase in size. Complications due to mumps can include inflamation of the meninges (membranes covering the brain and spinal cord), testes, pancreas or deafness.

One dosage required.

Varicella (chicken pox)

Chicken pox is caused by a contagious virus that is a branch of herpes and is always present in the community. It is characterized by a rash with different manifestations (blisters, spots, ulcers) and can grow into bacterial super-infections such as encephalitis and viral pneumonia.
One shot should be administered.

Meningococcus is a bacterium that can cause grave illness. It can be the main cause of meningitis in adults and can cause complications such as a widespread bacterial infection in the bloodstream, and damage to all systems in the organs of the body, systematic failure and death.

 

One shot should be administered.

The students’ arrival with a complete and updated registry of vaccinations will provide greater certainty that we will not have any health issues that could become serious. It is a requirement that safeguards the well-being of your child and of the other students, since these illnesses are provoked by germs that are highly contagious.

Rest assured that should one of our students become ill, we will take every precaution to ensure his or her health and well-being. However, if we can prevent such illnesses by immunization, their stay will be much more pleasant, they will have a better experience, and we will avoid parental worry.

Rebeca Silva
rsilva@oakinternational.org

 
 
 
 
 
 
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