There’s been a lot of confusion and misunderstanding about vaccines. However, regardless of what people say, experts have proven from time to time again that vaccinations are a crucial part of a community’s health. Vaccines efficiently prevent the spread of contagious and deadly diseases, ranging from measles to whooping cough. It helps build your body’s natural immunity to a particular disease before getting sick, keeping you from acquiring and spreading the disease.
With that in mind, whether you have an older relative living at a hospice in your city or have kids at home—here are the ‘important vaccines’ every family should get for better health and well-being.
Babies get born with protection against particular diseases thanks to their mothers passing antibodies responsible for fighting diseases to them before birth. You can further improve a child’s immunity by letting them get immunized or vaccinated, creating natural immunity to protect them against diseases.
Although the vaccinations your child should get depends on their current health status, your area of residency, and their pediatrician, the following vaccinations are recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).
Chickenpox is a common disease that kids and adults go through, but kids should get vaccinated early on as it can cause severe complications in younger individuals. Getting them vaccinated for chickenpox can lessen the effects of the disease.
Measles, Mumps, and Rubella (MMR)
The MMR vaccine is efficient at protecting individuals against debilitating diseases like mumps, rubella, and muscles, preventing complications caused by these diseases. It’s best to let your children get vaccinated for MMR as it usually protects them against these deadly viruses for life.
Diphtheria, Tetanus, and Pertussis (DTaP)
DTaP is a vaccine that can help kids younger than seven years old develop natural immunity against the three deadly diseases caused by the different bacterias named Diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis or commonly known as whooping cough.
Hepatitis A and B
Hepatitis A and B can be fatal diseases, especially for children. That’s why it’s best to have your child as young as six years old or a couple of months old get vaccinated for hepatitis A and B, respectively.
Children who get rotavirus may become severely dehydrated, leading to hospitalization. Practicing good hygiene, such as regularly handwashing with soap and water, isn’t enough to control rotavirus spread. That’s why letting a child get vaccinated is ideal.
Although some parents hesitate over their kids getting vaccinated because of ‘potential side effects,’ these are unlikely to cause any severe effects. For instance, some vaccines may cause mild reactions like soreness in the injected spot or a fever—and these temporary inconveniences are certainly better than your child getting severely ill down the line. After all, immunizations are some of the best means of protection against most diseases.
Just like for children, some vaccines get routinely recommended for adults, depending on one’s age, lifestyle, job, existing health conditions, travel plans, and previously received vaccines. Although vaccination recommendations vary, below are the following vaccines that routinely get recommended for adults at some point in their lives.
Tetanus, Diphtheria, and Pertussis
Diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis are common diseases that most people would likely encounter in their lives, making it a crucial vaccination to get as a child. However, adults are also recommended to take a DTaP vaccination for continued protection against the three deadly diseases.
Shingles is a disease where painful rashes develop on one side of the face or body, consisting of blisters that eventually turn into scabs a week after getting infected. Although it gets better by itself, it can be painful and debilitating, especially for older individuals with ‘weaker’ skin. That’s why it’s best for adults over 50 and older to get vaccinated for shingles.
This vaccine protects adults against the 13 types of pneumococcal bacteria that cause severe infections in people. Additionally, a pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine prevents ear infections and pneumonia, common in older individuals.
Flu vaccines are a great vaccine to get for both children and adults, as it reduces the risk of an individual contracting flu illness, hospitalizations, and death. You may also need other vaccines as an adult, depending on your health status and your doctor’s recommendations.
Remember that vaccines have a limited period of efficacy, meaning you’ll need to get booster shots now and then keep your immunity system ‘up-to-date’ and stay immune to certain diseases. So, besides getting your family vaccinated for the conditions mentioned, it’s your responsibility to keep records of the vaccines received to ensure your family’s overall health and well-being.