The Importance of Immunization and Vaccination

The Importance of Immunization and Vaccination

What is Immunization?

Immunization is the process of making a person immune or resistant to an infectious disease, usually through the administration of a vaccine.

Vaccines activate the body’s own immune system, which protects the individual from future infection or disease.

Immunization is a tried-and-true method for managing and eradicating infectious diseases that are life-threatening, and it is estimated to prevent between 2 and 3 million deaths annually. With methods that enable accessibility to even the most vulnerable and difficult-to-reach populations, it is one of the most economical health investments.

Types of Immunization

There are active and passive ways to get an immunization.

Active Immunization: It is said to occur when a person meets the microbe and develops immunity to an infectious disease. Eventually, the immune system will produce antibodies and other antimicrobial defenses. Vaccinations are a form of active Immunization.

Passive Immunization: is the process of transferring immune system components that have already been synthesized to a person so that they are not required to be produced by the body on their own. Although it works quickly, this immunization method is only temporary.

How do Immunizations work?

When a virus infects a vaccinated person, the immune system recognizes the virus as the same as the vaccine, it has already developed a response to and prepares the body to deal with it. The immune system rapidly produces more of the antibodies that are effective in dealing with the virus.

The patient’s immune system either stops the virus before it can establish a foothold on the patient, or if it is not quick enough, the patient only exhibits mild symptoms until the virus is defeated.

Diseases that Immunization can Prevent

  • Diphtheria
  • Hemophilus influenzae type b
  • Hepatitis A
  • Hepatitis B
  • Human papillomavirus (HPV)
  • Influenza
  • Measles (red measles)
  • Meningitis
  • Mumps
  • Pertussis (whooping cough)
  • Pneumonia
  • Polio
  • Rotavirus
  • Rubella (German measles)
  • Tetanus (lockjaw)
  • Varicella (chickenpox)

Immunization Schedule as recommended by Physicians

Age Vaccine
Birth- BCG- Bacille Calmette-Guerin a vaccine for tuberculosis

OPV- Oral poliovirus vaccine

Hep B- Hepatitis B

6 weeks PCV: Pneumococcal conjugate vaccine
DTaP 1: Diphtheria, tetanus, and acellular pertussis vaccine
Hib: Hemophilus influenzae type b vaccine
IPV: Inactivated poliovirus vaccine
RV: Rotavirus vaccine
Hep B-2 
10 weeks DTaP-2
Hep B-3
14 weeks DTaP-3
Hep B-4
6 months and annually  Influenza (Flu)
6–9 months Influenza 2
Typhoid Conjugate Vaccine
9 months MMR- 1: Measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine (German measles). MMRV is a vaccine that is sometimes given in combination with the varicella vaccine.
12 months HepA: Hepatitis A vaccine which is given as 2 shots in 6 months gap
15 months MMR-2
PCV Booster
16 –18 months IPV-B1
18-19 months Hep A-2
4-6 years IPV-B2
10–12 years  Tdap: Tetanus, Diphtheria, and Pertussis. Also advised during every pregnancy a woman has.

Individuals with following conditions should consult their physicians before getting vaccinated

  • Individuals with weakened immune systems are usually advised to wait.
  • Individuals who have had allergic reactions to a particular vaccine are generally advised to avoid further doses.
  • Individuals with moderate to high fever
  • Pregnant women

What is the Difference Between Vaccination and Immunization?

Vaccination is the process of strengthening the immune system (typically through injection) to recognize a microbe by exposing it to a weakened form of the same microbe.

In other words, when we vaccinate someone, we introduce foreign proteins into their bodies, usually through injection. These proteins typically kill or weaken microbes. When such proteins are introduced into a healthy person, they act as antigens, causing the body to produce antibodies.

These antibodies remain in the recipient of the vaccine for extended periods of time and protect against infection from that specific.

This protective response of the body is called Immunization.

The main distinction between vaccination and immunization is that a vaccine is given to a person to develop immunity against the disease. For instance, an infant has a high risk of contracting polio before receiving the polio vaccine because they do not yet have immunity to the disease. Consequently, a vaccination increases a person’s resistance to disease (immunity)

Tips you should follow before getting Immunized

  • Take Advice from your Physician

Medical professionals are the best people to ask about vaccines. Inquire with your doctor about the vaccinations you or your child needs at each developmental milestone, as well as the recommended doses.

  • Get Vaccine Information Statements (VISs)

Vaccine information statements (VISs) are written resources that explain the advantages and risks of a vaccine to vaccinated individuals or their parents.

  • Follow After-Care Instructions

Education about comfort and care measures following vaccination is crucial for both the patient and the parent. Make sure you know how to handle common side effects from vaccinations, particularly in infants, such as pain at the injection site, fever, and fussiness. You should also learn when to seek medical attention and when to let the doctors know if you have any concerns after receiving a vaccination.

How to Track your Vaccination Records?

When consulting a new healthcare provider, sharing your previous vaccination records ensures you get the right medical care. Unfortunately, no national organization maintains this information. So, if immunization records are lost or unavailable, vaccination doses may need to be repeated.

Here are a few tips that might help you find your records:

  • Find out if your parents or other caregivers have a record of your childhood vaccinations.
  • For information on immunization dates, contact the health services at your high school and college.
  • Look through your baby’s books or other childhood documents that you have saved.
  • Consult any former employers who might have demanded proof of immunizations.
  • Consult your physician or a public health facility.
  • Speak with the health authority in your state. Adult vaccines are listed in some states’ IIS (Immunization Information Systems) registries.

What if you don’t find them?

In general, some vaccines may need to be repeated for both kids and adults. Receiving additional vaccination doses is not harmful, despite the inconvenience and time commitment. Blood tests can help determine whether you are already immune to specific diseases for a few vaccines. You can get assistance from your healthcare provider in figuring out what’s best for you.

Important Advice:

Immunization is essential not only in childhood but also in adulthood to promote healthy ageing. This is because childhood immunization does not provide lifelong immunity against diseases like tetanus (lockjaw) and diphtheria. To maintain immunity, adults require booster shots. Adults who were not immunized adequately as children may be at risk of contracting other vaccine-preventable diseases.

Apollo HomeCare:

Keeping in mind the effectiveness of vaccinations and the importance of immunization for healthy ageing, we at Apollo HomeCare offer vaccinations in the comfort of your own home. Our nurses have received extensive training in administering vaccinations to people of all ages.

Reach us out on 1800 102 8586

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