Since day one, we are constantly exposed to many different viruses, bacteria, and other microbes. While most are not harmful and many are beneficial, some can cause diseases. Fortunately, we have a built-in protection – our immune system. Once we are exposed to infection, the immune system fights this by triggering a series of responses to neutralize the microbes and limit the harmful effects. Being exposed to an infectious disease often results to a lifelong immunity against the same as our immune system remembers the microbe. However, some diseases may lead to serious complications and sometimes, death. Worry not! For there is another way to protect yourself aside from exposure to infectious diseases – vaccines!
How Vaccines Work
Vaccines teach your immune system how to create antibodies that protect you from diseases. Now this is a much safer way for your immune system to learn than by catching the diseases and treating them. Vaccines mimic the virus or bacteria that causes disease and triggers the body’s creation of antibodies. Then, these antibodies will provide protection once a person is infected with the actual disease-causing virus or bacteria.
Vaccines remain to be one of the most convenient and safest preventive care measures available. Rest assured that all licensed vaccines are safe. Potential side effects associated with vaccines are uncommon and much less severe than the diseases they prevent. All vaccines are thoroughly tested to make sure they will not harm you or your child. In fact, it often takes many years for a vaccine to make it through the trials and tests it needs to pass for approval. Vaccines contain either killed or weakened viruses, making it impossible to get the disease from the vaccine.
The risk of exposure to a vaccine-preventable disease is lower when more people are vaccinated. Thus, when the majority of the population has been vaccinated against a disease, there will be few people left to whom the infection can spread.
Get Vaccinated Before You Travel
Although a long-distance overseas journey is always exciting, it’s important to be aware of any health risks associated with your destination. As a skilled and experienced physician, Dr. Chaula Patel can provide you with the appropriate vaccines and medicines required to help ensure your health and well-being while you travel. Set an appointment today!
By Chaula Patel, MD
October 27, 2022