The COVID-19 vaccine is truly a scientific breakthrough and testament to the advanced medical technology we enjoy here in the United States. It’s important to remember, however, that vaccines have long been a vital part of the good health many Americans enjoy.
The team at Medinet Family Care Clinic is committed to providing superior medical care to residents of all ages in and around the communities of Houston and Sugar Land, Texas. Read what our physicians say about the importance of remaining up to date with immunizations.
Understanding the importance of immunizations
The routine immunizations (vaccines) that health officials recommend for children and adults are designed to protect individuals, families, and our Texas communities from serious illnesses.
Most vaccines in use today were developed decades ago and live up to their promise of preventing the devastating health consequences of infectious diseases such as polio and measles.
In some cases, worldwide immunization efforts have actually eliminated deadly diseases such as smallpox. Newer vaccines, such as the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine, help prevent cancer-causing infections. The COVID-19 vaccine is designed to halt the effects of a global pandemic.
It’s hard to overestimate the value of routine immunizations for stopping the spread and health consequences of infectious disease.
Who should be immunized and when?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has developed specific guidelines for scheduling vaccines in both children and adults. With few exceptions, our providers here at Medinet recommend sticking with CDC protocols to avoid the many serious, even life-threatening consequences of the targeted disease.
Complications of diseases such as measles, for instance, include pneumonia and swelling of the membrane (meninges) surrounding the brain and spinal cord. Those most at risk for serious illness linked to measles are children under five and adults over 20. Without an immunization, measles is very easily passed from person-to-person.
For most adults, immunizations are required much less often than in childhood since the goal is to boost the effectiveness of early immunizations. Your protection against tetanus, for instance, lessens over the years and so guidelines recommend a booster every 10 years.
A few vaccines, namely flu shots, are recommended annually while some individuals, such as those who travel regularly, may need more frequent immunizations. Our team at Medinet helps keep you on schedule by providing timely reminders regarding vaccines.
Are vaccines safe?
Vaccines undergo extensive testing to ensure their safety and efficacy before they’re made available for public use. Most work by introducing tiny amounts of a disease-causing germ (antigen) to your immune system via an injection.
The antigen is either inactive or very weak and essentially trains your immune system to recognize and develop antibodies that prevent future infection without making you sick.
The first two COVID-19 vaccines (Pfizer and Moderna) use messenger RNA (mRNA) rather than live or killed virus to trigger the immune response and antibody development that prevents you from getting sick.
Our team here at Medinet is always happy to discuss the safety protocols of the immunizations we offer for children and adults. Don’t hesitate to ask if you’re concerned about immunization use, scheduling, or other factors.
For outstanding health care that includes routine immunizations for you and your loved ones, schedule a visit at Medinet Family Care Clinic today or give us a call regarding our walk-in/urgent care services. We’re here to help!