Vaccinations are given to provide protection against diseases without having to become sick. There are a wide variety of vaccinations available for different diseases including pertussis (“whooping cough”), the flu, or shingles to name a few. It is important to keep your vaccinations up to date to not only keep yourself healthy but also your family and the community.
Myth: The influenza (or the flu) is only an inconvenience and the vaccine does not work very well.
FALSE: Influenza kills 300,000 to 500,000 people a year across the world. It tends to be more severe in pregnant women, small children, elderly with poor health, and people with chronic conditions (i.e. asthma or diabetes). The vaccine protects against the four most common viruses for that season and that is why people receive the vaccine every year.
Myth: There is a link between vaccines and autism.
FALSE: Multiple studies have been conducted to study the possible link between vaccines and autism but none of them have shown that vaccines or their ingredients cause autism. The 1998 study that showed a link between autism and the mumps-measles-rubella (MMR) vaccine was proven wrong and resulted in the article being pulled from the journal and the loss of the author’s medical license.
Question: Can someone get the disease from the vaccine?
Most vaccines, like the flu shot, use an inactivated or dead form of the virus or bacteria. It is impossible to get the disease from an inactivated vaccine. Live vaccines, like MMR or chickenpox, can appear to cause a mild form of the disease but it is not harmful and shows that the vaccine is working. Individuals with a weakened immune system should never receive live vaccines.
Question: Who should get vaccinated?
Everyone that does not have a medical condition that prevents them from receiving a vaccination. Certain disease states like diabetes require adults to receive certain vaccines. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offers a complete list of recommended vaccinations for different ages and disease states.
Question: Why are vaccines required for children to go to school?
Vaccinations help protect not only the individual receiving the shot but also the rest of the community and schools from outbreaks of disease. Without a law people would forget and provide excuses to not get vaccinated.
As always, Topeka Pharmacy is always here to answer your questions and can provide vaccinations to children 11 years and older without a prescription. Younger children need a prescription from the doctor.