Vaccines are medications that help protect people from diseases. These medicines have helped save millions of lives. Although they are available for a variety of different diseases, they are all meant to spark the immune system to respond to germs.
Vaccines are usually given through needle injections, mouth sprays or combinations of both. Depending on a person’s age and health, they may need a different type of vaccination. Vaccines for specific diseases are listed on the CDC vaccine schedule. The CDC website also provides details on how to administer the vaccination.
In the United States, there are 18 diseases that are considered vaccine-preventable. Some are common and others are more dangerous. Most of these diseases are transmitted person-to-person. If enough people get sick, they can cause an outbreak. Because of this, it is important to receive a vaccine. A schedule of recommended vaccines for each disease is published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Various expert organizations have also published guidance documents on the allocation of vaccines. Those groups typically prioritize vaccination based on the risk of infection and the likelihood of spreading the disease to other individuals. They also emphasize equitable vaccine allocation to disproportionately impacted populations.
Some vaccines are required for newborn babies. This is why it is important to ensure that your child gets the proper shots as soon as possible. Typically, children ages six months to four years receive three doses of a primary series of vaccines. Kids between five and eleven years of age should receive two additional doses of the same series.
Another important factor to consider when choosing a vaccine is that some people are allergic to certain ingredients. Regardless of your health, it is a good idea to consult with a physician or pharmacist about whether you are allergic to a particular vaccine. Those who are allergic to a certain vaccine should not receive that vaccine until they are older. Similarly, if you have a history of severe allergy, you should not receive a vaccine containing that ingredient.
The National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program helps people get compensation for injuries that result from receiving a vaccine. This program is a no-fault alternative to traditional legal systems. It is designed to reduce liability for vaccine manufacturers and providers.
One of the oldest and most well-known vaccines in the United States is the influenza vaccine. Flu season starts in late October and early November. Vaccines are offered for various types of flu, including the inactivated influenza vaccines and the polysaccharide or live-attenuated versions. During flu season, it is important to keep a watch on your immune system. You can prevent influenza by avoiding smoking and by keeping your body free of germs. However, there is always the possibility of contracting influenza.
People in certain research or travel jobs are often exposed to diseases that are considered dangerous. Those with immunocompromising conditions such as untreated HIV infection, hematologic malignancies, or active chemotherapy for cancer, may require an additional primary series dose of the same vaccine.