Why Immunizations Are Important
Ever wondered why flu vaccines are annual, and how every year people STILL get sick? We have answers!
In a previous post we discussed what vaccines are made of and how they’ve impacted us worldwide. Now we’re explaining how they work and what “immunization” really means. Join us this National Immunization Awareness Month to help prepare your family for back-to-school immunizations and this flu season.
What Do Vaccines Do?
When medical professionals call vaccines “immunizations,” you might take that literally. You’re immune to the disease, so you no longer need to worry… right? Well, yes and no.
Immunizations are meant to provide your body with the tools and knowledge it needs to fight off serious infection. Most people will get similar results after naturally getting sick with a disease. This is called active immunity!
Your body’s response to direct contact with a disease is what we call active immunity. In other words, you either got sick or you were vaccinated! Immunizations count as active immunity, which can last up to a lifetime. However, active immunity takes two to three weeks to fully develop, and active immunity without vaccination may not last as long.
A great example of why you could still get sick after vaccination is the commonly known seasonal flu!
The flu virus is an annual illness that always causes an uproar. You’d think we would have a long-term vaccine by this point, but here are some reasons we don’t:
- The flu virus that goes around every year isn’t consistent.
- Doctors have to do some serious research to predict what strain to vaccinate against.
- The strain we do prepare a vaccine for will be the most likely to go around, not the only strain.
Why Get Immunizations?
The question on many minds right now is, “Why should I get vaccinated?” We have an answer that doesn’t just apply to the flu.
Simply put: Vaccines are mostly meant to decrease the chances of spread, serious illness, death, and hospitalization. While complete immunity is a goal when making vaccines, it’s often not the reality between strain mutations and personal circumstances!
For example: Between 2019 and 2020, the CDC estimates the flu vaccine prevented around 7.5 million flu-related illnesses, 6,300 flu-related deaths and 105,000 hospitalizations.
Those numbers aren’t small and are a great way to show how vaccines benefit everyone.
If you or your child are in need of immunizations, please make an appointment with Lawton Community Health Center
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