Since the Covid-19 pandemic began, there has been a race to create a vaccine, which has prompted many public conversations about vaccines in general. There is a great deal of misinformation out there, so we have compiled some vaccine basics from trusted sources to help you navigate the conversation, and ultimately protect yourself and your family from illness.
How do vaccines work?
In a sense, vaccines cause the body into thinking it is under assault from a virus or bacteria, and in turn, the immune system makes weapons called antibodies that will provide a defense when a real infection becomes a threat. It’s like preparing the troops for battle.
Do we really need them?
In order to fight off certain diseases, our immune systems need a little help. Vaccines prepare our immune system ahead of time to fight diseases we might come in contact with. In many cases, vaccines can help eliminate diseases all together, so what once was a deadly or life-altering illness, is no longer a worry for our communities. That’s why it has been decades since anyone we knew had smallpox or polio. These vaccines are effective at keeping entire communities safe.
Why are vaccines so important for children?
The antibodies that are built up as a result of vaccines don’t disappear. They remain in the bloodstream, always looking out for invaders who might harm the body. When children are vaccinated on the recommended schedule, it allows their body to be protected as soon as possible. The longer a person waits, the more they are at risk of disease.