Back to School: Immunizations Awareness

Immunization is one of the greatest achievements in the prevention of death and disease. Vaccines have been developed for many diseases, including:

  • Measles
  • Polio
  • Chicken Pox
  • Tetanus
  • Flu
  • Whooping Cough
  • Hepatitis

Polio, as an example, has been virtually eliminated in the U.S., and measles and mumps have also been contained. However, because risks of certain diseases still exist in parts of the world where people have not been immunized, the ongoing promotion and implementation of immunization programming, both locally and globally, can manage this important public health need effectively.

 

How do vaccines work?

Vaccines contain weakened or killed viruses or bacteria and are produced at a level that is strong enough to activate the body’s response, creating antibodies. Once these antibodies are produced, they become part of the body’s immune system. As a result, if and when an exposure to any natural or “wild” virus or bacteria occurs, these antibodies stand ready to fight off intruders and prevent the spread of disease.

Diseases that result from not being immunized can have serious, potentially deadly consequences, and vaccination remains the only real defense. In our “global community” of commonplace foreign travel, travel immunization programs also are key steps in providing these necessary protections.

Check with your doctor about the types and timing of vaccinations that are pertinent to you and your family, and do your part to address this public health need. Vaccinations are safe, convenient, and effective, and their benefits far outweigh their known risks which are both rare and less severe.

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