Immunizations

What exactly are immunizations?

Immunizations are the weakened/killed virus or bacteria or bits of lab-made protein that imitate the virus in order to prevent an infection by that same virus or bacteria. To put it a simpler way, vaccines provide just enough of the disease for your body to be able to produce the antibodies in your system. This process this helps you develop an immunity to that disease.

Why are immunizations important?

Immunizations are such an important part of healthcare for everyone, especially the young and the elderly! When your body has the opportunity to develop an immunity to a disease, you can usually prevent the onset of the disease altogether or even reduce the severity if onset ever occurs.  In children, some of these illnesses can be life threatening or even fatal. Pertussis, polio, and smallpox have been known to have devastating consequences and alarming outbreaks if not prevented and vaccinated against. More and more children are in daycare than ever before which means the exposure rate amongst children to illness is extremely high. With children becoming so vulnerable and susceptible, vaccinates are vital in reducing the spread amongst the community.

In the elderly community, immune systems can become weakened in time. In our youth, our bodies are generally more equipped to recover from disease such as the flu and pneumonia. However, as we age, the risk of chronic disease is higher in those 65 and older. This can cause more complicated issues when contracting an illness that otherwise would resolve on it’s own with rest, fluids, and over the counter medications. Flu shots are vital in reducing the severity and preventing contracting these illnesses altogether amongst our older community since more than 60% of hospitalizations during flu season are comprised of those over 65.

Who else are immunizations recommended for?

Immunizations are not only important for the young and older communities, but they are important for other members of our society as well.

Vaccinations are also advised for:

International Travelers

Immigrants and Refugees

Military Members

People with High Risk or Exposure to Certain Illness

Healthcare workers

Pregnant Women

People with Certain Health Conditions

When do I need to get vaccinated?

Vaccinations are often set up on a schedule from childhood to adulthood. If you don’t have a schedule set up for you, your children or family, please let our physicians know so we can set up a scheduled healthcare plan for you that fits your vaccination needs.

Other resources online can be found here: https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/schedules/index.html with a complete list of vaccines available along with their recommended ages for each one. If you have any further questions, please schedule an appointment today to talk to your physician and we will be happy to guide you along!

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