Immunizations help to protect you from serious diseases and their long-lasting side effects. A fully functional immune system is capable of fighting off a variety of illnesses and viruses. However, there are some diseases with serious and lasting repercussions ranging from infertility and paralysis to even premature death that are now avoidable with vaccinations. Effective implementation of immunizations has removed several dangerous diseases, such as polio, from the United States. Immunizations are usually required for admission to public school as well as to participate in most sports and extracurricular activities. Vaccines undergo rigorous testing and safety clearances. There is no scientific evidence that vaccinations cause autism or other developmental issues.
An immunization works by exposing a patient to a small and controlled dose of a virus that stimulates the body into producing the necessary antibodies to fight off the virus. The body then holds on to these antibodies to fight off the virus if exposed to it again later in life. Most vaccines last for many years. Some may require boosters to maintain full protection, while others last throughout the life of the patient. The flu vaccine is slightly different because the flu virus mutates quickly and each year the virus is different enough to need a new vaccine. As a result, an annual flu shot is recommended.
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) publishes recommended schedules of vaccinations for children and adolescents. The most reliable resources for these schedules are the CDC website, the local school district, and the healthcare providers at We Care More Family Clinic. It’s likely that your child will be required to have a series of immunizations completed before being able to start school.
It’s generally recommended that everyone have an annual flu vaccine, however, some groups are more likely than others to catch a flu virus. Children under the age of six, the elderly, pregnant women, travelers, and those with existing health problems are all statistically more likely to contract the flu virus and should have an annual flu vaccine shot.
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