What is a Vaccination?

Vaccinations are essential to protect the body from diseases that could cause sickness and get spread easily. A vaccine is made from the same germs that cause the illness but are given in a small diluted dose to help form immunity against the illness or disease.

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When should vaccinations start?

In the United States, a vaccination schedule starts during infancy and are available through adulthood. Specific scheduling is determined by the age of a person and birth country.

Infants

Consult a pediatrician, local health clinic, or pharmacist to answer specific questions about infant vaccines and scheduling. Infant and toddler vaccines include HepB for Hepatitis B; DTaP for diphtheria, tetanus, and acellular pertussis; Hib, for Haemophilus influenza type b; IPV, inactivated poliovirus; PRC, pneumococcal conjugate; RV, rotavirus; Influenza; MMR, measles, mumps, and rubella; and Chickenpox or varicella.

Children and young adults

Most children and young adults are also eligible for HPV, human papillomavirus; meningococcal conjugate; and MenB, Meningococcal B. Teenagers and young adults get many preventable diseases that could be avoided with vaccinations.

Adults

If an adult has not received the vaccinations listed above, contact a healthcare provider to get your vaccines updated. Some vaccinations are given in infancy or childhood also require a booster shot later in life.  Adults should also consider having an annual seasonal flu vaccine. People 50 years and older may want to consider getting shingles or pneumococcal vaccines.

Vaccinations are safe and long lasting

All vaccines are carefully developed and require years of testing before they are approved by the Federal Drug Administration and introduced to consumers. Vaccines are made in batches and each batch made is approved before its release. Even after a vaccine has been approved for use, it continues to be monitored for safety and effectiveness.

Your healthcare provider or your pharmacist can answer questions about vaccinations and advise you based on your specific needs, health, age, and lifestyle.

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