All about Immunity
You have questions. You might even have concerns.
We understand, and we’re here for you.
Let’s start with the basics. It’s all about immunity.
Your child’s armour
Think of immunity as your child's armour against disease.
Immunization prompts your child’s natural immune response to disease, allowing your child to safely develop antibodies against the disease, before being exposed to the disease.
These antibodies act as your child’s armour.
When your child is exposed to that disease after being immunized, your child will be armed and able to fight it off, without getting sick.
Without immunization, your child’s body does not have the immunity (or “armour”) to fight off the disease. Without the armour of immunization, your child can fall victim to vaccine-preventable diseases.
Your child’s safety
As a parent, the most important thing to you is your child’s health and wellness.
It’s normal – and healthy – for you to be concerned that what you’re putting into your child’s body is safe.
We share your concern. Your child’s safety is at the heart of Alberta’s immunization program.
The vaccines your child receives in Alberta are safe.
These vaccines protect your child from diseases that are not safe.
By getting your child immunized, you’re giving your child the opportunity to build his or her own natural immunity to – or “armour” – against disease, before he or she is actually exposed to these diseases.
Allowing your child to be exposed to these diseases without the armour of immunization is not a safe alternative to immunization.
Tragically, these diseases can be deadly.
Immunization is not only the most effective way of arming your child against illness. It’s also the safest way to protect your child’s health.
When you immunize your child, you’re also helping to build your community’s defence against diseases.
The more people immunized in a community, the less opportunity disease has to spread in the community.
The catch? For immunization to effectively arm your whole community against vaccine-preventable diseases, the majority of people in your community must be immunized.
This is often called “Herd Immunity.”
To truly achieve Herd Immunity against infectious diseases, between 85% and 95% of people in the community need to be immunized, depending on the specific disease.
Herd Immunity is important to the health of a community as a whole, and particularly to vulnerable people in a community who cannot be immunized themselves. These vulnerable people – including infants too young to yet be immunized, patients undergoing cancer treatment and transplant recipients – rely on those around them to be immunized to provide some degree of protection from disease.
By getting your child immunized, you’re arming your child against disease and you’re also helping to protect and defend your vulnerable neighbours and your community as a whole.