Did you know immunization from vaccines prevents four to five million deaths each year?
You may have heard a lot about vaccines in the news lately. There are always debates going on about how effective they are, how safe they are, and who should get them.
But how do vaccines work? In this article, we will explain the basics of how vaccines work and dispel some common myths about them.
What Are Vaccines?
Vaccines are how we strengthen our body’s defenses to fight infections.
They are designed to limit our chances of getting infected, or mitigate the serious health complications if we do become infected.
The first-ever vaccine invented was for smallpox, in 1796.
Nowadays, there are numerous types of vaccines available for a wide range of infections. Often there can be multiple vaccine options available for infections as well. These include vaccines to help prevent HPV (human papillomavirus), chickenpox, hepatitis A and B, measles, mumps and rubella (MMR), meningococcal disease, and tetanus.
How Do Vaccines Work?
Vaccines work by injecting a “dead” or “modified” form of the virus into our body with a syringe needle.
As that virus replicates, it will produce an immune response in our body. The next time we are infected with that type of virus, our body is primed and ready to fight it off quickly, before it has a chance to cause us any harm.
Do I Need a Vaccine?
That’s a question that can only be answered by your doctor or government health officials. Some people may need vaccines due to their occupation or travel habits, while others may need them because of their age or medical history.
For example, people who work with animals may need to get a vaccine for rabies, and healthcare workers need to get vaccinated against hepatitis B and other infections.
Some vaccines are also mandatory in some countries – such as the MMR vaccine in Australia – while others are optional.
Are Vaccines Safe?
The question that arguably broke the internet.
Unfortunately, there is a lot of misinformation out there about getting a vaccine and the safety of vaccines. There are claims for everything from vaccines containing tracking devices, to they cause autism. This is not true.
Vaccines can have side effects and as human bodies are incredibly complex these can vary between individuals. In most cases, they are mild and harmless. This is not new information, and medical professionals will be able to discuss any concerns you have about this.
Vaccines are also rigorously tested to ensure they meet the highest standards of safety and efficacy before being approved for use by your country’s health department.
Additionally, vaccines are incredibly safe when compared to the diseases they help protect us from. For example, the risk of death from measles is around one in 1000, while the risk of death from the MMR vaccine is one in a million.
Know The Facts About Vaccines
This post should have answered the question, how do vaccines work?
Hopefully, you’ll now feel more empowered to get your next jab.
Vaccines not up to date, or you’re not sure? Get in touch with your local GP to discuss this, they’ll be more than happy to help!
In the meantime though, keep educating yourself by reading the blogs on our site.