National Immunization Awareness Month: Vaccines

Vaccines raise a lot of questions. How do they work? What do they do? Are they good or bad? Can I get sick from them? What are the chances of me getting sick if I don’t get Vaccinated?

Well, August is National Immunization Awareness Month, so here at Premier Healthcare we want to make sure you are fully educated on the importance of Vaccines. Once or twice a week, we will try to publish a new blog post, information on Facebook, or links on Twitter to help you increase your own awareness on Vaccines.

Today, I want to give you some general information on Vaccines and hopefully answer a few of the basic questions mentioned above. General opinion varies somewhat on the pros and cons of Vaccines. You can find all kinds of information on the internet telling you that Vaccines are terrible (you can also find lots telling you that Vaccines are incredible), and as we all learned from the State Farm commercial, “everything you read on the internet is true”. This is hard though when the internet provides opposing views and consumers have to weigh these views and decide for themselves. We’d like to help. Premier Healthcare believes that Vaccines are good. They prevent people from experiencing the effects of numerous life-threatening diseases.

So, how do they work and what do they do? Well, I will let a bit of information from the experts at the Center for Disease Control (CDC) do the talking, “When disease germs enter your body, they start to reproduce. Your immune system recognizes these germs as… invaders and responds by making proteins called antibodies. These antibodies’ first job is to help destroy the germs that are making you sick. They can’t act fast enough to prevent you from becoming sick, but by eliminating the attacking germs, antibodies help you get well… they remain in your bloodstream, and if the same germs ever try to infect you again… they will come to your defense… they can destroy (these germs) before they have a chance to make you sick. This is immunity.” So, for example, this is why you only get chickenpox once. After you have had it the first time, the next time the germs try to enter your body, they find a defense network already set up to take them down. Vaccines on the other hand eliminate the “getting sick the first time” part. The CDC explains, “Vaccines are made from the same germs (or parts of them) that cause disease… but the germs in Vaccines are either killed or weakened so they won’t make you sick… your immune system reacts to the Vaccine the same as it would if it were being invaded by the disease… the antibodies destroy the Vaccine germs just as they would the disease germs… then they stay in your body, giving you immunity” all the while keeping you from ever experiencing the awful effects of the disease.

This is why Vaccines are good, but you may be asking yourself, “if they are so good, how did bad things ever get written about them?” Well… it is kind of like flying in an air plane down to Florida for vacation versus driving in car. How many people do you know who are scared to fly in an air plane (possibly including yourself) due to the fact that every once in a while airplanes crash? Now compare that to how many people you know who are scared to drive a car. Most likely, you know quite a few people who are afraid to fly and very few if any who are scared to drive a car. But the reality of the situation is that flying in an airplane is much safer than driving in a car. The percentage of people to die in airplane crashes per year is 180 compared to 33,561 deaths due to fatal car crashes in the United States in 2012 alone. (These stats are based on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administrations stats and National Transportation Safety Board) What I’m trying to say is that yes, you can die on an airplane but the chance that you would die on an airplane is slim to none compared to the high chance that you would die in a car crash. People are afraid of airplanes because they don’t understand them. It is the same with Vaccines. Yes, there is an incredibly slim chance that a Vaccine might not work but the chance that you could get the disease or even die from the disease if you are not Vaccinated is much MUCH higher.

Call your physician or Premier Healthcare at 812.355.6900 or visit premierhealthcare.org to schedule an appointment today to get yourself or a loved one vaccinated.

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