Some illnesses that once got many people very sick, and even threatened their lives, are now nearly eradicated thanks to preventive injections called vaccinations.
These vaccines modify your immune system by introducing an inactive, weak, or partial version of the illness-causing pathogen into your body. Your immune system then responds to this introduction by creating components called antibodies, which help your body recognize the disease in its full form later if you encounter it.
When enough people in a population get their vaccinations, the disease starts to disappear from the public. In this way, even people who do not have their vaccinations are protected against the same disease.
You can get vaccines and their updates on a set schedule starting when you’re born. Whether you need a first dose or a booster dose, the St. Luke’s Healthcare team can make sure you get it safely and know how it works.
Even if you’re afraid of needles, getting a vaccine does not have to be an unpleasant experience.
Some of the diseases that now have vaccines are:
The influenza vaccine is different from the rest because it changes yearly, and you must get the new one every year around autumn before flu season starts. Following lots of research, experts make a new formula according to the active types of the influenza virus.
Because vaccines contain parts of an active virus or greater amounts of inactive viruses, you might have some concerns about the potential for getting sick. You can’t get sick from a vaccine containing an inactive germ, but there’s a slight possibility of getting sick from one that uses a weak form of the germ.
Disease resulting from a weakened-germ vaccine is very rare. Still, even if you do get sick, the illness is much milder from a vaccine than it is from the fully active version of the virus or bacteria.
As always, you should bring up any concerns you have about your vaccinations with the team at St. Luke’s Healthcare.
Vaccinations are an essential part of prevention for many diseases that could be deadly to you or your family. To learn more about vaccinations and find out which you need, call St. Luke’s Healthcare or request an appointment online today.