Stay armed— keep your family up to date with regular immunizations

August 18, 2022

Vax facts: learn more about the safest way to get protected from serious disease and illnesses

Vaccines are among the greatest advances in the health and development of the world. These safe, effective tools teach the body’s immune system to recognize and defend against harmful viruses or bacteria before an infection develops. People of all ages—from infancy into adulthood—should stay current with the vaccines needed to protect themselves from serious diseases—including some cancers—and lower the risk of hospitalization, disability—and even death.

Protect your kids, family and community
Maintaining routine immunizations prevents the spread of viruses or bacteria and helps protect those unable to get vaccinated—like the very young or people with compromised immune systems. When entire populations become vaccinated, a disease can even become eradicated and no longer pose a threat to communities or entire countries. If people stop getting vaccines, diseases that were once eradicated—like polio—can once again threaten the health—and lives—of our children and families.

14 by 2
Routine immunizations protect children from 14 potentially fatal diseases by the time he or she is 2 years old.

1 out of 5 students is behind on routine vaccinations
Approximately one—out of every five kids—needs to catch up on vaccination schedules to get protected against dangerous diseases like meningitis, hepatitis, MMR and others. The good news? It’s never too late to get back on track; schedule your children's vaccinations—or annual wellness visits—today!

How vaccines work
Bacteria and viruses are antigens—intruders—that enter your body. When your immune system recognizes these antigens, it can produce proteins—antibodies—that find and destroy the intruders and prevent them from making you sick.

Vaccines train your immune system
Vaccines help your body identify and destroy antigens from bacteria and viruses that get into your body without them making you sick.

Strength in numbers = community (herd) immunity
Together, we can prevent a virus or bacteria from circulating. When more people are vaccinated, diseases spread slower. When fewer people are vaccinated, disease can spread faster.

Vaccines save lives—and money!
Vaccines save more than five lives every minute—preventing 4 to 5 million deaths every year—even before the arrival of COVID-19! And being sick is expensive. Very. There’s often a large price tag for those who become seriously ill and need hospitalization for illnesses that could be preventable—or less serious—with a proper vaccine. Immunizations can prevent millions of cases of disease and save billions of dollars per decade.

Vaccine types vary
Vaccines work within the body to fight antigens from bacteria and viruses in a variety of ways. Common vaccine types—and how they work—include:

  • Inactivated. Uses a dead form of the antigen that causes the disease. Example: flu vaccine
  • Live-attenuated. A weakened form of the disease-causing antigen is used. Example: chickenpox vaccine
  • mRNA. Uses messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) to cause cells to create a protein to mimic the antigen. Example: COVID-19 vaccine
  • Subunit, Recombinant, Polysaccharide and Conjugate. A particular part of the antigen—like a protein or sugar—is used. Example: shingles vaccine.
  • Toxoid. Uses a toxin made by the antigen that causes the disease. Example: tetanus vaccine.

Adults also need vaccines
As we age, the effectiveness of childhood vaccinations can wear off and a booster may be needed. The immune system also weakens with age. Older adult should ask their providers about vaccines that can protect them from infectious diseases that are more serious to them in their later years—like pneumonia or influenza.

Vaccines are extensively tested—and created from years of research
The US vaccine safety system utilizes strict testing protocols to best ensure that all vaccines are as safe as possible. Vaccines that have been approved recently must still undergo the rigorous testing processes needed to be approved and administered. Some vaccines have protecting people from dangerous, life-threatening diseases for generations. Current vaccines can protect people from:

  • Diphtheria
  • Hepatitis A
  • Hepatitis B
  • Hib (meningitis)
  • Human papillomavirus
  • MMR (Measles, Mumps and Rubella)
  • Influenza
  • Pertussis (whooping cough)
  • Pneumococcal (pneumonia)
  • Polio 
  • Rotavirus
  • Tetanus 
  • Varicella (chicken pox)
  • COVID-19

Additional vaccines protect people with chronic health conditions
Talk to your provider about vaccines that can help those living with:

  • Diabetes
  • Heart disease
  • HIV infection
  • Liver disease
  • COPD or Asthma

Catch up—or stay on track—with immunizations
Missed routine vaccinations can put your kids and family at risk for diseases that can be prevented with a bit of pre-planning—and a simple visit to your provider. The start of the new school year is a perfect time to make sure your kids are armed with the tools they need for a healthy, happy year. To see if your kids—and entire family—is current on regular immunizations, schedule a check-up with one of our primary care providers. To schedule an appointment call 870-845-6060 or visit our primary care page to learn more.


Posted in:  Health, Kids