Vaccines protect people from becoming infected with a disease. Vaccinations save millions of lives to prevent serious diseases. When a disease is not common anymore because of a vaccine, some people think that the vaccine is not important. Actually, the opposite is true! When we continue to get vaccinated, we make sure that disease does not return to infect people again.
The way vaccines work is by helping to develop immunity. They do it by imitating an infection. The body’s immune system responds by making cells and proteins, called antibodies. Once the levels of these antibodies start to fall, the body is left with a supply of “memory” cells that will remember how to fight that disease in the future. It takes weeks for the body to produce these protective cells after vaccination. Therefore, it is possible that a person infected with a disease just before or just after vaccination could still get the disease because the vaccine has not had enough time to provide protection.
Vaccines are safe. Before a vaccine can be given to the general public, the manufacturers of the vaccine must conduct tests called clinical trials and share their results publicly. Health officials review the results carefully to make sure the vaccine is safe and effective. Then, the health officials will approve the vaccine.
Immunizations are generally made using a tiny amount of the virus/bacteria they protect your child from, but they don’t cause the disease itself. They instruct your child’s body to make blood proteins called antibodies to fight off those diseases. For example, after a vaccine for whooping cough, if your child were to come into contact with the real illness, their body would recognize it and have the right tools to attack it.
Polio, Mumps, Measles, Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Tetanus, Rubella, Hemophilus Influenzae type b, Whooping Cough, Pneumococcal Disease, Rotavirus, Chickenpox, Diphtheria, Shingles, and some others are vaccine-preventable diseases.
Watch this helpful video on how vaccines work!
If you have more questions about immunizations, and you would like to discuss it with one of our providers, please call our office at 561-745-4226 or visit our Patient Portal, to schedule an appointment. We are here for you!
1. Immunizations the basics: https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vacgen/imz-basics.htm
2. Vaccine Preventable diseases: https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/adults/ vpd.html
3. Understanding how vaccines work: https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/hcp/co nversations/understanding-vaccwork.html
4. Why immunize: https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vacgen/why.htm
5. 14 Diseases you almost forgot about thanks to vaccines: https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/parent s/diseases/forgot-14-diseases.html