Velocity Care discusses the benefits of immunization and highlights the most important vaccines that doctors recommend
National Immunization Awareness Month occurs every August to help bring about awareness of the importance of receiving regular vaccinations. Throughout the years, strict immunization policies have brought many life-threatening diseases under control. Polio, smallpox, tetanus, yellow fever, diphtheria, whooping cough and measles are all rarely seen illnesses that, prior to vaccinations, were responsible for millions of deaths worldwide.
The importance of immunizations
Vaccines can help to keep you and your family from becoming ill and can also help to stop the spread of infectious diseases to others. It is especially important for the very young, the elderly and those with weakened immune systems to be up to date on all of their inoculations. Most diseases that vaccines prevent are highly contagious and can cause serious, if not deadly, health complications. Receiving these vaccinations will protect you and keep you strong and healthy.
Which vaccinations should I get?
There are many vaccines available and the ones that are necessary for you will depend on your individual circumstances and health needs. There are, however, several vaccines that doctors recommend for nearly everyone:
- Annual flu shot - Everyone should receive this vaccination, but especially young children, the elderly or those with weakened immune systems. Doctors recommend the flu shot be repeated every year, usually in late summer or early fall. This vaccine will protect against the current strain of influenza.
- DTaP-IPV-Hib vaccine - Doctors recommend infants receive this vaccination at 2, 4, 6 and 18 months of age. It protects against the following five diseases: diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis and polio, as well as diseases like meningitis caused by haemophilus influenzae type b. After the course of four injections, a person is protected from contracting these illnesses for life.
- Pneumococcal vaccine - Given at 2, 4 and 12 months of age, this vaccine protects against pneumococcal illnesses such as pneumonia, meningitis and certain infections of the blood.
- Rotavirus vaccine - Children should receive this vaccination at 2 months and 4 months of age.
- Measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine - Children usually receive this vaccination at 12 months of age and doctors recommend a second dose at 4 years of age. In some areas, proof of this vaccination is mandatory in order for a child to be able to start attending school.
- Hepatitis A and B vaccine - Anyone who is planning to travel to tropical countries where hepatitis A and B infections are common should receive this vaccination. Additionally, those working in the health care industry who may come into contact with infected blood should receive this vaccination.
- Travel vaccines - There is a relatively large list of vaccines that are available to protect against infections that are commonly contracted while traveling to foreign countries. These vaccines can protect against diseases such as typhoid, cholera, yellow fever, Japanese encephalitis and others.
- HPV vaccine - The human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine can help to prevent this sexually transmitted virus, which can lead to cervical cancer in women.
- Shingles vaccine - Adults over the age of 60 or those who are at a high risk of contracting the shingles virus should receive this vaccination.
National Immunization Awareness Month is the perfect time to review your entire family’s health records to ensure that everyone is up to date on all of their immunizations. By keeping yourself and your family well protected, you are providing everyone with a happier, healthier future, free from all of the preventable, communicable diseases.
The team of trained professionals at Velocity Care Urgent Treatment Center will provide you with outstanding care and will take the time to answer all of your important questions. If you have questions about which vaccines are right for you, visit one of our walk-in clinics today.
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