Both children and adults need certain vaccinations to protect against communicable disease, for their own sake, as well as others. Samir Khalil, MD, of Family Care in Paterson, New Jersey, offers a wide range of vaccines for infants, children, adults, health care workers, and immigrants. For a flu shot or any other vaccine, call or book an appointment online, today.
A vaccine is a way to prevent you and others from getting and spreading diseases caused by viruses, bacteria, or toxins. A vaccine utilizes the body’s natural ability to create immunization against disease once exposed.
A vaccine introduces a small amount of dead or weakened germ, stimulating the immune response to build an immunity against the illness caused by that germ. Different types of disease require different types of vaccines, some of which you receive once in a lifetime, while others on a yearly basis.
If you have a vaccination from a certain disease, your body is able to fight the disease when and if you are exposed to it later. You may be able to avoid developing any illness at all or may have a much milder form of the disease because of immunity.
There are four different types of vaccine, each work in slightly different ways to protect the body from future exposure to disease.
Live-attenuated vaccines use a weakened form of a germ. Immunity lasts a lifetime. Common diseases that have this type of vaccine include:
An inactivated vaccine uses a dead form of the germ. Immunity is shorter lived and may need repeating over a lifetime or annually. Examples include flu, polio, and Hepatitis A vaccines.
Each of these vaccines uses partial forms of diseases, such as specific proteins from the germ. Immunity is strong, but many need boosters throughout a lifetime. Whooping cough and shingles vaccines are part of this group.
Uses a toxin produced by the germ, which is usually the cause of disease symptoms. Immunity is against the toxin, rather than germ itself. May need boosters throughout a lifetime, and includes tetanus and diphtheria.
These different types of vaccinations work together to build up immunization against a communicable disease that could be debilitating to both individuals and communities.
It is recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that scheduled vaccinations begin as early as birth. Early vaccinations can help a child build immunization against disease before they are likely to come in contact with the disease itself, such as chickenpox, measles, rubella, and whooping cough.
Others who may need to be vaccinated include:
In many cases, vaccinations are required for job placement or to be in compliance with government regulations, such as in the case with immigrants entering the United States.
If you or your child needs a vaccination, call or book an appointment online with Family Care.