Vaccination Services Questions and Answers
Vaccination services are one of the most significant healthcare achievements of the 20th century, with many deadly and devastating infectious diseases being reduced to minor threats. They continue to be an essential part of preventative medicine that anyone can benefit from! At Family First Medical Group, we provide vaccination services and can answer any questions or concerns you may have.
How do Vaccines Work?
When germs, such as bacteria or viruses, enter the body, they attack and multiply. This is called an infection, and is what causes illness. Blood contains red blood cells, for carrying oxygen to tissues and organs, and white or immune cells, for fighting infection. When a vaccine is introduced into the body, it works by mimicking the activity of the virus or bacteria, and causes the body to build antibodies to fight the infection. In order to do this, vaccines often contain a weakened or inactivated form of the particular infectious disease or its genetic material to trigger an immune response. When your immune system responds in this way, it commits the action to memory so it can act with speed and strength in identifying and eliminating the disease in the future, thus preventing you from getting sick if you happen to encounter that particular virus or bacteria again.
People can some times experience side-effects after getting a vaccine, such as a fever, but these minor symptoms are normal as the body builds immunity. It typically takes a few weeks for the body to produce antibodies after a vaccination, so it is possible that a person infected with a disease just before or just after vaccination could still see symptoms of that disease as the vaccine has not had enough time to provide full protection.
What are the Most Important Vaccines?
There are a variety of different vaccine types, including those for travel, the annual flu shots, and the standard vaccinations recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Some of the most important vaccines that have significantly reduced the threat of certain infectious and devastating diseases include the polio vaccine; the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine; the smallpox vaccine (which is no longer required because the disease has been entirely eradicated); and the tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis (TDaP) vaccine.
Each of these diseases at one time seemed invincible but, thanks to vaccines, they are now less of a threat. Having said that, of these diseases only smallpox has been entirely eradicated, and so it is still imperative that people receive their vaccinations to protect them any potential significant consequences should they contract one of these diseases.
What are the standard vaccinations?
The standard vaccinations, as recommended by the CDC, are as follows:
- Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) vaccination
- Hepatitis A, B, and C (HepA, HepB, and HepC) vaccinations
- Human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccinations
- Inactivated polio vaccinations
- Influenza vaccinations
- MMR vaccinations
- Meningococcal conjugate (MenACQY) and serogroup B meningococcal (MenB) vaccinations
- Pneumococcal conjugate virus (PCV13) vaccinations
- Rotavirus (RV) vaccinations
- Varicella-zoster vaccine (VZV)
What diseases do vaccines protect against?
Vaccines are effective at protecting the body from infectious diseases caused by bacteria or a virus. There are currently no vaccines that protect against parasitic or fungal infections. Some diseases that vaccines protect against include the following:
- Hepatitis A, B, and C
- Meningococcal disease, also known as meningitis
- Pertussis, also known as whooping cough
Some travel vaccinations also protect against such diseases as yellow fever, typhoid fever, malaria, and others.
Family First Medical Group proudly provides vaccination services to our great patients in Mokena and Evergreen Park, Illinois! If you would like to learn more about our vaccination services or want to make an appointment with us, please feel free to call us, or you can schedule an appointment with us through our website. We serve patients from Evergreen Park IL, Mokena IL, Hickory Hills IL, Oak Lawn IL, Chicago Ridge IL, Bridgeview IL, Bedford Park IL as well as many other areas in the Chicagoland Region.