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Immunizations 101

Everyone from babies to grandparents need to get immunized.
Immunizations

Immunization Awareness Month is observed in August, so prepare yourself for the upcoming flu season by learning why immunizations are so important to your health.

What Is It?

Immunizations, or vaccinations, make you immune to certain diseases. They prepare your body to fight diseases by exposing you to a dead or weakened virus or bacteria that causes a particular disease, like measles for example. When the vaccine enters your body, your immune system makes antibodies against the virus so that it'll fight it off and prevent you from getting sick if you're ever exposed to the real thing. Each immunization is given through a shot, usually in your arm. Your arm may be sore for a couple of days, but a sore arm sure beats putting your health at risk of serious illnesses.

Why Is It Important?

Immunizations protect you, your family, your friends and everyone else you care about from deadly diseases. In fact, they save thousands of lives each year! Formerly common diseases like measles and smallpox have declined or been wiped out in North America because of vaccinations.

Who Should Be Immunized?

Everyone from babies to grandparents need to get immunized. Since kids are more vulnerable to infections than adults are, most vaccines are given soon after you're born until you're about six years old.

Which Immunizations Do You Need?

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends kids get the following vaccinations:

  • Influenza
  • PCV (pneumonia, blood infections)
  • Measles, mumps and rubella
  • Chicken pox
  • Diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis
  • Polio
  • Meningitis
  • Bacterial meningitis
  • Hepatitis A
  • Hepatitis B

What Are the Risks?

In addition to pain and soreness from the vaccine, the most common risks linked to immunizations are fever, rashes, allergic reactions, seizures, or paralysis. Some people worry that immunizations are linked to autism, which is a brain development disorder that affects your ability to communicate and interact with people. While some parents of autistic children believe immunizations are to blame, studies have not been able to prove that the two are linked.

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Comments

shae508

shae508 wrote:

i really really really hate shots. Raspberry
commented: Mon May 20, 2013

Gingerkissx

Gingerkissx wrote:

My arm goes really, really red sometimes when I get immunizations but that's actually a good thing, it means its working fast. It also makes it less painful and I can move my arm around without it being too sore.
commented: Wed Jan 09, 2013

Rose13113

Rose13113 wrote:

Did you know that I am allergic to immunizations? My arm swells up and gets all itchy.... :~S
commented: Wed Jan 09, 2013

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