This question pops in everyone’s mind when they are asked to prioritize vaccines. Some diseases cannot be tamed with regular medications and treatment due to their severity and intensity. In such cases, you would need assistance from a stronger element that can help strengthen your immune system and make it competent enough to fight the disease. It is essential to understand the worth of vaccines before adopting it. Vaccines or immunization helps in boosting your body’s natural immunity rather than stuffing it with artificial power to fight the diseases. These vaccines for specific diseases prepared your immune system for the attack.
Generally, vaccines are the less dominant part of any diseased germ that is injected into the body. The moment it enters the body, the immune system detects the danger and naturally starts building the antibodies to fight it. These antibodies stay in your body as long as the disease invades your body. So, when those particular diseases ever attack your body, your body will already have all the necessary weapons for the combat.
In case the disease does not attack you in your lifetime, the antibodies will still reside in your body without hampering your general functions of the body. This way, your body will organically prepare itself for the attack without seeking assistance from any external medications.
Generally, it is quite hard to acknowledge the importance of vaccination because plenty of diseases are becoming rare due to the use of vaccines only. For instance, measles, before the vaccine for measles was developed in 1943, affected almost every child before the age of 15.
Today, you will rarely come across any measles case, and that’s only because of the widespread measles. If you think only kids require vaccines, then there are adult vaccines as well. Age increases the chances of lung infections in people above the age of 45. Vaccines help in teaching your immune system how to defend the body from certain diseases. Most of the vaccine-preventable conditions are contagious and can infect the person that comes in its contact.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that vaccination is the ideal way to prevent the disease from spreading. So if the general public is vaccinated with the proper vaccines, there are fewer chances of these diseases to spread. The Department of Health and Human Services in the USA has set the Healthy People 2020 goal, wherein they have set a target of 70% influenza vaccination in the country, and the current rate is 43%.
The Healthy People goal also includes pneumococcal vaccination for adults, and the target has been set at 90%, and the current rate is 56%. This figure clearly states that the importance of vaccines has to be emphasized more to cultivate a healthy public that is safe from all sorts of infectious diseases. Hence, vaccines are the most powerful and reliable form of boosting your immune system and preparing it for possible attacks from particular diseases.
Today we are the generations that are blessed with technology. We have a technological solution for every possible problem. Technology has found ways to improve the medical industry and develop reliable treatment methods that can also save lives. But that was not the case some centuries ago. People were deprived of the right techniques to treat disease and protect their bodies, so eventually, they died when attacked by viruses.
Smallpox was one of the severe epidemics back in the 15th century. People used to die with smallpox because there were no proper medications or treating methods that can cure smallpox. The world knows Edward Jenner as the founder of first smallpox vaccines, where he used cowpox pustules to develop immunization against smallpox. But, the actual use of smallpox vaccines started as early as in 1000 CE. According to historical evidence, Chinese people developed smallpox inoculation to beat smallpox. It was practiced in Turkey and Africa before it came to Europe and America.
Edward Jenner’s invention was successful, and cowpox material started being used to create immunity against smallpox. After the radical design of the smallpox vaccine, the next revolution in medical history was the rabies vaccine developed by Louis Pasteur in 1885. From there on, the pharmaceutical industry witnessed some transformation development in the vaccines. Within the 1930s, vaccines for some severe diseases like plague, typhoid, diphtheria, tetanus, anthrax, tuberculosis, cholera, and others were found.
By the mid 20th century, a research and development practice was created for vaccines that continuously worked to find a new and improvised way of developing vaccines for other severe diseases. Viruses were developed in a laboratory that was used to bring instant innovations in vaccine development. One of the radical discoveries was the vaccines for polio.
Over the years, researchers have targeted the common diseases that are likely to invade the human body during childhood. Such common conditions include measles, mumps, rubella, and others. With the advent of technology, new and improvised methods of finding vaccines have been deployed to expedite their development.
As mentioned earlier, generally, vaccines are given in childhood as a majority of vaccine-preventable diseases are caused in childhood; there are some conventional vaccines that you must be acquainted with. All the health and medical institutions encourage parents to get their children these vaccines to strengthen their immune system for such diseases.
Before knowing the common vaccines for the diseases, it is essential to know the types of vaccines:
Attenuated Vaccines: These are the live viruses that are used as vaccines. It is generally used for measles, mumps and rubella vaccines (MMR)
Killed Vaccines: Dead viruses are used in this type of vaccine, like IPV.
Toxoid Vaccines: These types of vaccines comprises of inactivated toxins produced from any bacterium — for example, diphtheria and tetanus vaccine.
Conjugate Vaccines: They combine the portion of bacteria with proteins to form the vaccine.
Luckily, scientists and medical experts have found a single virus for all three infectious diseases, i.e., MMR, measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine. MMR vaccine is given in two doses, one at the age of 12-15 months and the second at the age of 4-6 years. Parents who are traveling with their kids can get them vaccinated as early as six months. MMR vaccine is a necessary vaccine because measles, mumps, and rubella can lead to severe health conditions.
According to a health survey, around 95% of children are saved yearly from the MMR vaccines. Not getting the MMR vaccines can lead to the weakening of the immune system and letting the body be prone to MMR.
You can avoid or delay the MMR vaccine in the following cases:
A kid is allergic to the previous dose of MMR vaccine
Suffering from any disorder affecting the immune system
It is a form of viral fever that causes fever and itchy rashes following spots on different parts of the body. Chickenpox used to be a common illness in the US. It generally occurs in kids at the age of 12. Fortunately, the chickenpox vaccine, or commonly known as the varicella vaccine, has reduced the number of cases massively. It is administered through injection to the kids aged between 12 and 15 months. The next booster is given at the age of 4-6 years.
Not only this age group, but kids who are older than six years and younger than 13 years can also get the vaccine if they have not had chickenpox yet. The chickenpox or varicella vaccine is proven to be 85% effective in treating the disease.
16. Diphtheria, Tetanus, and Pertussis Vaccine (DTaP)
Diphtheria: it is a severe throat infection that can even block your airway and generate respiratory issues.
Tetanus: Tetanus is a nerve disease that can happen to anyone at any age. It is caused by toxin-producing bacteria that contaminate a wound.
Pertussis (Whooping Cough): Showcasing cold-like symptoms, pertussis, or whooping cough is a respiratory disease. It causes severe coughing that often leads to coughing fits. Adults can also have a lasting cough that can be pertussis, but they ignore and accidentally transfer to infants.
DTaP is one for all vaccines for Diphtheria, Tetanus, and Pertussis. The vaccine is given in five doses at different ages: two months, four months, six months, 15-18 months, and 4-6 years. A booster vaccine, namely Tdap, can be given to kids from the age group of 11-12 years for better coverage. Even pregnant women can also take the Tdap vaccine in the second half of their pregnancy.
It is a type of virus that can cause nausea, vomiting, fever, and jaundice that can even lead to severe health conditions. The vaccine is given in two doses: at 12-23 months and second 6-18 months later.
If the baby has to travel to abroad country, the vaccine can be taken as early as six months. Even adults are advised to take HepA vaccines.
Affecting the liver, hepatitis B virus can cause fever, nausea, jaundice, severe vomiting that can last up to weeks or turn into a lifelong infection. Those who catch the virus for lifelong might develop serious liver issues, such as liver cancer, cirrhosis, and others.
HepB vaccine is given in three doses: first, shortly after birth, second, at 1-2 months, and final at 6-18 months. If a mother has HepB virus in her blood, it is necessary to give the infant the HepB vaccine at least 12 months after the birth.
A HepB vaccine generally establishes a long-term reliable immune system eliminating the possible risks of liver cancer and other related issues following the HepB virus. There are no severe complications regarding the HepB virus; only minor allergies are found after the vaccine.
You can delay or avoid the HepB vaccine in the following cases:
The vaccine can be postponed for a child who weighs less than 4 pounds at birth
Currently sick with a simple cold or fever
Suffered allergic reaction after the previous dose
Haemophilus influenza type B or commonly known as Hib was the leading cause of meningitis in children from the age group of 5 years until the Hib vaccine was discovered. It is a common form of infection in blood, skin, lungs, ears, and joints. Hib vaccine is given in five different doses: at two months, four months, six months, a booster dose at 12-15 months.
Kids from the age group of 12 to 59 months can get more doses of the Hib vaccine if their immune system is weakened by asplenia. This vaccine is not particularly recommended for kids above the age of five years unless they have some severe case of the weakened immune system. Hib vaccine can cause some minor issues like redness, swelling, and tenderness, where the injection was given.
You can delay or avoid the Hib vaccine in the following cases:
The child is currently sick due to cold or other minor illness
Severe allergic reaction after the first dose of the vaccine
It is a type of sexually transmitted disease that can cause genital warts that can lead to cervical cancer as well. HPV can also result in cancer in other body parts like the penis, vagina vulva, and throat. The HPV vaccine is given to boys and girls from the age group of 11 or 12 years old. The vaccine can be delivered as early as at the age of nine years.
The HPV vaccine is given a series of shots. Children from the age of 9-14: two shots over a period of 6-12 months. For girls and boys from the age group of 15-26: three shots for a period of 6 months. Problems like genital warts can lead to cancer; hence it is crucial to take the HPV vaccine at the right time.
Meningococcal disease is a severe infection leading to bacterial meningitis and other severe infections. There are majorly two types of meningococcal vaccines that are currently available in the United States: meningococcal conjugate vaccine and meningococcal B vaccine.
The meningococcal conjugate vaccine is recommended to kids from the age group of 11 or 12 years, and the booster shot is given at the age of 16 years. Teens from 13-18 years old can also get the vaccine.
Kids and teens that are at higher risk of developing meningococcal disease should get the full series of the vaccine. Meningococcal is a form of bacteria that can infect meningitis or bloodstream leading to infection in several parts of the body. A meningococcal vaccine can prevent the attack from the bacteria. There are some common side effects of the vaccine that ranges from swelling, redness, and pain at the injected spot.
You can delay or avoid the vaccine in the following cases:
The child is suffering from a common cold or other minor illness
Allergic reaction to a previous dose of meningococcal vaccine, DTaP vaccine or latex
Pneumococcal infection is common among children and infants. The pneumococcal vaccine helps in protecting against all sorts of infections caused by bacteria. The pneumococcal bacteria can spread from person to person, so it is categorized under contagious diseases that can be life-threatening.
PCV 13 creates a protective shield against 13 different types of pneumococcal bacteria, and PPSV 23 safeguards the body from 23 kinds of bacteria. These vaccines are not just to immunize children from the disease, but it also prevents it from spreading to other people as well. There are four shots for the PCV13. The first shot is given at the age of two months, then at four months, six months, and one between 12-15 months.
Kids who have missed any of the required shots can take it after the age of two years as well if they have been suffering from severe health conditions. It is the most common way in which PCV13 is given to kids; you must always refer your doctor who can provide you with the right information regarding the dosage of vaccines. Just like any other vaccine, PCV13 also has some common side effects such as redness, tenderness, or swelling at the area where the shot was taken. These vaccines are highly beneficial to prevent the situation of increased infection, hospitalization, and sometimes even death.
You can avoid or delay the PCV13 vaccine in the following cases:
The child is currently sick due to common cold or other minor illness that can prevent the immunization
Severe allergic reactions after the previous dose of pneumococcal vaccine or any other vaccine
The immune system is the protective wall that keeps the human body away from all the possible infections and diseases. It is crucial to strengthen your immune system and make it competent enough to fight those unpredictable attacks from external elements. Though there are plenty of organic ways in which you can boost your immune system, there are some severe diseases against which you need to immunize your body. For such intense immunization that cannot be done organically, you would need vaccines.
Vaccination is the way of immunizing your immune system before any external infection or disease attacks your body. This helps in preventing your body from catching the virus and further spreading all in your body. There are specific vaccines for specific conditions that help in targeting a particular form of the disease. For instance, the measles vaccine will lonely help protect your body from the possibility of measles.
It is vital to take all the necessary vaccines at the right time to be on the safer side. Vaccines are nothing but the weak portion of the diseased germ that is injected into the body. It alerts the immune system, and your body starts developing the antibodies to fight the germs — this way, your immune system readies itself for the attack.
The significance of vaccines cannot be emphasized more as it has become a part of general health and well being. Vaccines have become necessary, and it is advised that everyone must take their vaccinations at the right time before it gets too late. There are some severe diseases that, once caught, can become life-threatening to humans, and only their vaccines can help combat them.
Government and health institutes are also taking initiatives to educate people regarding the benefits of vaccines in our life. Many government bodies in the world are also providing some of the essential vaccines for free to the public to highlight it’s necessary and make it available to ordinary people.
From mumps, measles to whooping cough, there are vaccines for all severe diseases that can take a toll over your life. Understand the importance of vaccines and take them at the right time to let it start its magic before the disease attacks your body. Read more about vaccinations and educate yourself about the importance of immunization. Strengthen your immune system with vaccines and steer clear from all the possible diseases that can affect your mental or physical well being.