Everyone deserves protection. And every parent wants to do what’s best for their child. That is where vaccines and immunizations come in. They act as barriers that protect you and your loved ones from over 20 life-threatening diseases. The global medical community’s continuous efforts to immunize children and vaccinate adults prevent over 3.5-5 million deaths each year. Moreover, these preventive measures have even eradicated diseases like polio, which once caused thousands of deaths and paralysis. Schedule an appointment with Dr. Helton today.
Before anything else, we want to define vaccination and immunization to give you a better understanding of how things work. We will also try and keep things as simple as possible to keep things easy to understand for everyone.
A vaccine is a biological preparation administered through needle injections (sometimes administered through other means like sprayed into the nose or mouth).
Vaccination is the act of introducing a vaccine, through injection or other means, into one’s body.
Immunization is the process in which you become protected against a disease through vaccination(s). To build immunity against a disease, a doctor may have to administer a vaccine to you once or twice on separate dates.
How Does Immunization or Vaccines Work?
Vaccines work by upgrading your immune system to recognize deadly pathogens. They do that by introducing dead/inactive or weakened (but enough to trigger a response) versions of the pathogen (germs) responsible for the disease. Newer vaccines use parts of the pathogen.
Why Does Immunization Work?
When a pathogen attacks your body, it takes a lot of time and energy for your body to respond. That’s because it has to understand the pathogen and know its weakness. Once it knows its weakness, your body creates antibodies that can effectively wipe out the pathogen and make you healthy again.
However, you get very sick during this process. For people with weak immune systems (infants, children, and older people), it may take much longer, causing severe damage to the body and leading to irreparable injuries or even death.
The vaccine works by introducing weaker versions of the pathogen ahead. What that does is help your body recognize the actual pathogen. So that in the future, in case you do bump into that pathogen, your body can respond immediately (cutting the time to get to know the pathogen).
Vaccination allows the body to create antibodies and necessary white blood cells to fight the pathogen faster and more effectively. This speedy response minimizes or eliminates the time of being sick. That’s what makes vaccines so important.
Immunizations protect you or your child from dangerous diseases. They help reduce the spread of disease to others. They are often needed for entrance into school or daycare. And you may need them for employment or travel to another country.
Because proof of immunization is often a prerequisite for enrollment in school or daycare, it’s important to keep your children up to date on their vaccines.
The benefit of immunization is that your children will be protected from diseases that could cause serious health problems. The recommended immunizations for children 0-6 years of age include the following:
At one time or another, each of the diseases addressed by these vaccines posed a severe health threat to children, taking their lives by the thousands. Today, most of these diseases are at their lowest levels in decades, thanks to immunizations.
It’s essential to keep your child’s immunizations on schedule and up to date, but if your child misses a scheduled dose, he or she can “catch up” later – and it’s imperative that they do.
The threat of death by disease isn’t the only medical consequence of skipping vaccinations. An unvaccinated child faces lifelong differences that could potentially put him or her at risk.
Every time you call 911, ride in an ambulance, go to the doctor or visit the hospital emergency room, you must alert medical personnel of your child’s vaccination status, so he or she receives distinctive treatment. Because unvaccinated children can require treatment that is out of the ordinary, medical staff may be less familiar and less experienced with the procedures required to treat your child appropriately.
Pregnant but not vaccinated women can be vulnerable to diseases that may complicate their pregnancy. A pregnant woman who contracts rubella in the first trimester may have a baby with congenital rubella syndrome (CRS), which can cause heart defects, developmental delays, and deafness.
People who choose not to vaccinate their children also put others at risk if their child isn’t vaccinated and becomes ill. Particular groups of people cannot be vaccinated, including those with compromised immune systems (e.g., those with leukemia or other cancers). These people rely on the general public being vaccinated, so their risk of exposure is reduced.
Highland Family Medicine provides vaccines and immunizations to residents in Murfreesboro, TN. We are in partnership with several top vaccine manufacturers. We ensure you get the highest quality vaccines that are safe and proven effective at enhancing your body’s ability to fight infectious diseases successfully.
Dr. Helton, Dr. Housden, and Dr. Hardin will personally administer the vaccine to you or your child. They have years of experience and have served Murfreesboro, TN, for decades. With us, we reassure you that your health and your loved ones are in good hands. Contact us to schedule an appointment for vaccination and immunization.
Highland Family Medicine and its doctors, Dr. Helton, Dr. Housden, and Dr. Hardin, have been serving and treating the community of Murfreesboro, TN, and surrounding areas for over two decades.
Collectively, they have treated more than 20,000 patients. Highland Family Medicine specializes in comprehensive health care for people of all ages, treating most ailments and non-emergencies.
Please don’t hesitate to call the Highland Family Medicine doctor’s office. Dr. Helton, Dr. Housden, and Dr. Hardin are professionals and ready to serve.