Vaccines and Their Benefits
What are Vaccines?
Vaccines are compounds made of weak or dead disease-causing germs such as bacteria whose introduction into the body make it better suited to deal with the diseases such pathogens usually cause. Vaccination, on the other hand, is the process through which a vaccine is administered. Without vaccination against a disease such as smallpox, exposure to such a disease can cause serious and often life-changing consequences. However, after getting a vaccination, you would not even notice that you have been exposed to such pathogens as the body’s immunity would be strong enough to deal with the germs without any noticeable impact on your health.
What is Immunization?
Immunization, another term often confused with vaccination, means having protection against certain diseases. It is closely related to vaccination, as vaccination should typically result in immunization. When effective mass vaccinations are done against certain diseases, for instance polio, it becomes rare for people to suffer from polio. In other words, immunization should the end result of any successful vaccination process. What are the Benefits of Vaccines? Reduced Risks to Health Typically, some forms of immunity are obtained over time in a natural way as we come into contact with certain diseases. However, natural immunity often comes after serious illnesses, or at the expense of irreversible or severe health damage. But vaccines are beneficial in that they can generate this immunity in the body without such downsides.
Additionally, vaccines do not cause the serious illnesses that natural exposure to disease-causing pathogens often cause. So, with immunization, lifelong defects and other health conditions such as polio and so forth can be avoided. Therefore, while natural immunity exists, it often comes at a high penalty that can often have lifelong repercussions. For instance, polio causes irreversible disability issues in those affected.
Some Vaccines Cause better Immunity Than Natural Infections There are cases where getting a vaccination produces better immunity than a natural infection would. In such cases, you should ensure that your kid gets vaccinated before a natural infection sets in to ensure their immunity against such an illness is much better. Examples of diseases where vaccination produces better immunity than natural infection include tetanus, HPV, Hib (Haemophilus influenza type b), and pneumococcal. In the case of HPV, the specific protein used to create the vaccine is so pure that it generates a better immune response than a natural infection would.
Natural Infection Might not Induce the Required Immune Response Although immunity typically comes from either natural infection or a vaccination; there are times when even after natural infection, immunity is not generated in the body. For instance, tetanus is so strong that the minimum amount required to cause an infection is not enough to result in immunity. For this reason, even people who have suffered from tetanus might still not have immunity against the disease, which is why the vaccination is recommended even for those who have suffered natural infection.
A Common Misconception about Vaccination
There are people who claim that vaccinations are not “natural”. However, when you come to think of it, vaccination is very natural. The only thing that changes is that instead of getting the infection from an unsanitary surface or a sick person, you or your child gets exposure to weakened pathogens at a time of your choosing These dead or weakened germs exist in nature, so getting exposure to them does not make then “unnatural.” However, vaccines are made of pathogens that have been processed to ensure that they do not cause any harmful effect on your child’s health while still delivering the health benefits you expect.
Why do Children Need Them?
Before children are born, they are well protected from illnesses by the immunity their mothers have developed over the years either through natural infections of vaccinations. The mothers resist the disease-causing pathogens before they reach them. However, once they enter the world, these kids have to face these germs and toxins on their own, which means they have to develop their own immunity against many serious infections to get by without constant illnesses.
As we have seen, failure to get these vaccinations can result in natural infection, which often results in life-long consequences. Additionally, vaccinations can provide the immunity that natural infections might not always provide. So, although vaccination can seem quite overwhelming, it is a necessary step towards raising a healthy family. Because of vaccinations, children and adults are protected from diseases that would permanently cripple their health or even put their lives at risk.
That is why parents have little reason to fear as far as getting their children vaccinated goes. The vaccines undergo thorough testing before they are used on anyone. Additionally, the doses are carefully controlled to ensure that all the child gets is immunity, not the infection or any of the adverse side effects that a natural infection would cause.
Young children are exposed to lots of pathogens their bodies are not equipped to handle. For this reason, getting them vaccinated is critical to ensure that their mental and psychological development is not derailed by some easily avoidable infection or another.
Besides, your home is not as infection free as you think. You and the other older family members might not know this because you already have immunity against many of the disease causing pathogens in your home or the public places you visit. But your kid will not have the same level of protection, and with a high propensity to come into contact with germs through dirt, a child will typically have elevated risks of suffering from infections that could be easily avoided through vaccination.
Where Can You Get Vaccines?
Getting vaccinations is easy. Many hospitals cater to this need, especially when they specialize in pediatric or post-natal health issues. Even better, such health facilities will give you an immunization schedule that will help you know how to go about getting your child vaccinated comprehensively to help him/her get immunity from many avoidable and yet dangerous illnesses. So, ensure that your youngest family members are as healthy as the rest of the family through immunization.
Taking this important and bold step will save you and your child the agony of having to deal with one illness after another; and any lifelong consequences that might come from it. Without immunization, some of these natural infections can come back again and again since natural infection might not offer any immunity. Fortunately, getting your child vaccinated is very easy, you just need to visit a healthcare facility close to you for these services.
Until Next Time,