What is a Vaccine?

You probably hear the word vaccine almost every single day. But have you ever wondered what really is a vaccine? Can it be as beneficial as they say? Why should you get it? Let’s try to dig a little in this blog.

What is Vaccination?

Vaccination and immunization are ways of protecting our body from certain diseases. The vaccine enters into our body and an immune response is being triggered.  This is similar to the immunity a person would get from disease, but instead of getting the disease you get a vaccine. This is what makes vaccines such powerful medicine according to Fraser Health. Needle or injection are the most common ways on how to administer vaccines. Some are given by mouth (orally) or sprayed into the nose (nasally). In addition, they are also called “needles”, “shots” or “jabs”.

How it works

The vaccines contain the same germs that cause a particular disease. However, these germs do not make you sick. It’s because they have been killed or weakened. Your body is then “tricked” when you get immunized. It is tricked that it has been infected by the disease. The body then makes antibodies that kill the germs. These antibodies stay in your body for a long time and remember how to fight the germ. And finally, the antibodies destroy the germs.

Several diseases that vaccine protect you from:

  • influenza
  • measles (red measles)
  • meningitis
  • pneumonia
  • polio
  • rotavirus
  • rubella (German measles)
  • blood infection
  • diphtheria
  • ear infection
  • Haemophilus influenzae type b
  • hepatitis A
  • hepatitis B
  • Human papillomavirus (HPV)
  • influenza
  • measles (red measles)
  • meningitis
  • mumps
  • pertussis (whooping cough)
  • tetanus (lockjaw)
  • varicella (chickenpox)

Vaccine Scheduling

We need vaccination in order to immunize and protect our body against diseases that can do harm . This protection starts from the time of birth and continues into later life. The timing is based on the general risk of a disease in a period of life of a person.

The vaccine schedule issued by the CDC and has been proven safe and effective at protecting children from common diseases. A child can be seriously at risk if not vaccinated.

The number of vaccines their child receives from the time of birth can be overwhelming for some parents. But it is important to follow the recommended schedule. Vaccines are designed and timed to protect against specific diseases, specifically when a child is most vulnerable to them.