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June 6, 2019

Nursing & Healthcare

The risks and benefits of vaccination.


How do vaccines work?

Nobody likes getting shots, but at the end of the day vaccines and shots save lives. The diseases that vaccines prevent can be deadly, and these shots work with the body’s natural defense to develop immunity to these deadly diseases.

When bacteria or viruses invade your body, they attack and multiply. This is called an infection, and it’s what causes illnesses. Our immune system then fights this infection, and has a supply of cells or antibodies that remember the infection and can fight that disease in the future.

The vaccines we get can help our bodies develop immunity, as tiny doses of the disease are introduced to our body, without causing illness. It helps the immune system develop the same response as a real infection, so you can develop antibodies and fight it in the future.

Some people argue that natural immunity is best for your body. While this is true, many immune systems can't handle the virus that comes, and things like measles, polio, and smallpox can kill children or leave devastating results like paralysis or neurological damage. Immunizations are a much safer way to help immune systems create the antibodies needed to fight these diseases.

Registered nurses or other educated healthcare professionals ones who administer vaccines. These nurses are trained in school about the proper ways to administer vaccines, what reactions to watch out for, and can explain vaccine safety to help ensure you are educated and comfortable.

As more health professionals enter the field, there are more trained experts to help with vaccine safety.


Risks of vaccination.


There are some very rare and very mild side effects that can be the result of vaccinations. These side effects completely depend on the immunization you got, and how your specific body will react to it. While there are side effects, as with any medication, it’s important to note that unvaccinated children run the risk of spreading diseases or catching a deadly disease themselves.

Mild side effects.

There are sometimes very mild side effects from getting a vaccine. As the vaccine enters your body and is pretending to be the infection, you may get some of the symptoms of that disease like a cold symptoms, or a slight fever that shows your body is fighting the infection. There may be soreness of muscles or redness at the injection site. All of these very mild side effects go away in a couple of days.


Rare side effects.

There is a very rare chance you or your child could have more severe side effects that come from vaccines. High fevers, rashes, or neurological episodes are these very rare side effects. Medical professionals are trained to deal directly with these kinds of side effects, and each of them is extremely rare—more rare than getting the disease that is being immunized against.


Rarely, individuals will be allergic to vaccinations and can have reactions to their shots. While allergic reactions can be very dangerous, again, they are extremely rare. The CDC reports that in 2015, only 33 people had a serious allergic reaction out of 25 million vaccines given. Many people have genetic indications that they could be allergic to vaccines and are able to work with health professionals to stay safe.


Benefits of vaccinations.

Disease control.

Vaccines are extremely effective at controlling or eliminating dangerous diseases. The World Health Organization reports that the measles vaccine has prevented more than 20 million deaths since 2000.

Smallpox has been completely eradicated thanks to vaccinations, and polio is not far behind. Polio vaccines are still given to help keep control of the disease until it has been globally removed.

Immunizations have a direct impact on disease and virus control in the United States, and across the globe. Immunizations have turned deadly, devastating diseases into preventable diseases that are no longer life-threatening.


Herd immunity.

When more people have vaccinations, it makes everyone less likely to get the disease that is vaccinated against. This control of diseases is called herd immunity, and benefits the entire community.

For example, routine measles vaccines are high in the United States, with 91% of preschool children vaccinated. Measles has an extremely low occurrence rate as a result. But as specific areas dip in the number of vaccines, outbreaks have been seen. In 2018, 17 measles outbreaks impacting more than 370 people were confirmed. This is a direct result of localized areas opting out of vaccines.

When more people decide not to vaccinate, the diseases they prevent against have the potential to flare up or even get out of control. This is why research on vaccine safety is crucial; health professionals want to explain the slight risks of vaccines, and share how the benefits outweigh any risk because of things like herd immunity, that keep everyone safe.

Vaccines have been a hot topic for debate as research has come out about them. Many controversial studies, like the research about vaccines causing autism, have since been discredited. It’s important to look to health professionals as you research and learn about vaccinations and how they can benefit your family.


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