National Immunization Awareness Month
Vaccines are modern miracles. They protect us against deadly diseases like tuberculosis, measles and the flu. Unfortunately, not everyone can receive the protection of a vaccine (like individuals with compromised immune systems), which makes it even more critical to receive vaccinations if you can.
A vaccination contains a virus or bacteria—typically in a live but weakened state, or in an “inactivated” state—that is administered to protect against serious diseases. Because of the inactivated state of the virus in the vaccine, you don’t get sick from it. Instead, your body produces antibodies—special agents of the immune system that attack harmful elements inside of the body. By fighting against the vaccine, these antibodies learn how to fight off the actual disease should you ever encounter it.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides a recommended vaccination schedule for infants and children up to age 6 and a separate one for preteens and teens ages 7-18. If you or your child misses a vaccination, ask your doctor about a catch-up schedule.
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