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Vaccine Facts and Information

Vaccines were developed to prevent serious diseases. Vaccines work by putting part of a virus or bacteria into a healthy person’s bloodstream. The body then reacts to the vaccine and creates antibodies to the disease, which means that if the person is exposed to that disease again the person is unlikely to get the disease. The vaccines use dead or weakened strains of the illness in order to make it safe for people to be vaccinated. When you are vaccinated you will not catch the disease because often the vaccine has altered or stopped that diseases ability to reproduce inside of a body.

Vaccines have been successfully used to stop many serious diseases from occurring in the United States. There was a time when it was common for a child to get mumps, measles, and polio as part of childhood. These diseases rarely occur anymore, and there are no longer reported epidemics as a result of the vaccines.

The CDC has a required vaccination schedule for each child, although some parents choose to vaccinate children at a slower pace or to skip vaccinations all together. It is important to realize that the risks associated with contracting the majority of the diseases vaccinated against outweigh the risks from receiving the vaccines.

Some people should not get vaccinated. Some vaccines require that you be in good health to receive the vaccines, but for others you can be vaccinated if you have a slight cold or fever. You should check with your health care provider to see if you can still be vaccinated before you cancel a vaccination appointment. If you have had an adverse reaction to a vaccination in the past or if you are allergic to eggs you should talk to your health care provider before being vaccinated. Severe reactions and death can occur in these instances. 

Some parents are concerned about the mercury in some of the vaccinations, especially the MMR vaccination. However no studies have been able to prove that such a link exists. Many parents slow down the vaccination schedule so that the infant’s immune system does not become overwhelmed in an attempt to prevent such a reaction. If this concerns you, talk to your doctor about your concerns.

Many people often associate vaccines only with children, but the flu vaccine is one vaccine that is for both children’s and adults. Additionally adults may need to consider being vaccinated for Hepatitis and other diseases. One such vaccine is Gardasil, which protects against HPV (Human Papillomavirus) which causes genital warts and cervical cancer. The vaccine will not prevent all types of vaginal warts, but does protect against the two that cause the highest percentage of cancer. This vaccination is recommended for women between the ages of nine and twenty-six.

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