A vaccine is a product administered to a patient to produce immunity from a disease. It contains dead or weakened organisms to produce a response in the immune system. Vaccines come in many forms and exist for a variety of diseases. In the fall months, we often think of receiving the flu shot. This would be one of the more popular vaccines.
Vaccinations are sometimes called immunizations. The difference between a vaccination and an immunization is that the immunization is the actual process that goes on in the immune system after a vaccination.
Vaccines protect from preventable diseases. Vaccines for children are especially important, as their immune systems are not as strong as those of adults. As a preventative health measure, various vaccines are strongly recommended for school and many different occupations. Vaccine charts, also called immunization charts, are schedules developed by health organizations that indicate when people should be vaccinated.
The influenza vaccine, better known as a flu shot, is a vaccination that protects against influenza.
Hepatitis B is a type of hepatitis, a viral infection that causes inflammation of the liver. It is a serious illness that can cause lasting damage. Hepatitis B is caused by contact with infected bodily fluids. Symptoms include jaundice, nausea, vomiting, dark urine, and abdominal pain, but some people have no symptoms. Thankfully, you can protect yourself with the hepatitis B vaccine.
Tetanus is a bacterial infection that produces toxins that affect the nervous system, causing severe muscle stiffness. Tetanus spores are commonly found in soil, manure, and dust. They enter the body through cuts, scratches, and wounds caused by nails or other sharp metal objects. Symptoms include muscle spasms or tightness in the neck, jaw (lockjaw), arms, legs, and abdomen, difficulty swallowing, high fever, sweating, heart palpitations, and high blood pressure.
The tetanus vaccine is typically given early in childhood, as part of the Tdap vaccine. Because the vaccine's protection decreases over time, adults should get a tetanus booster shot at least every ten years. If you suffer a cut or puncture wound, your healthcare provider may recommend a booster—especially if you don't remember when you had your last tetanus shot.
The Tdap vaccine protects children age 7 and older from diphtheria, tetanus, and whooping cough.
Immunization is the process that happens in the human body when a vaccination is received. Immunization prepares your immune system to fight off the diseases included in the vaccine. Many people use the word immunization interchangeably with vaccination, but they aren't the same thing.
There are a wide variety of immunizations available for painful, dangerous, and life-threatening diseases. Immunizations reduce the incidence of preventable diseases. This preventive approach keeps healthcare costs down and allows healthcare resources to focus more attention on people in need of care. Most importantly, it saves lives. Healthcare professionals have created a series of immunization charts to show when people should be vaccinated.