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What's the deal with Anti-vaxxers? | How do Vaccines affect the Spread of Infection | ACTS

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What Are Vaccines?

Vaccines are a form of preventative care and are used to treat viral infections. Bacteria, viruses, and fungi are microscopic microbes that can not be seen with the naked eye but can cause life-threatening infections in humans. Bacteria, viruses, and fungi are very unique life-forms and could not more different from each other. It is because of these great differences that the treatments for these infections are not the same. For example, you can treat a bacterial infection with antibiotics, and fungal infection with antifungal medication. There is anti-viral medication out there however, this is not a cure but rather just a way to slow a viral infection down.

What are inside Vaccines

Viral infections can not be cured once someone is infected, although they can boost the immune system response for some strains. One of the only ways to protect yourself against the virus is to get a vaccine. The vaccine is effective if given to someone before they come into contact with the virus. A vaccine contains a weakened form of a particular virus, it is so weakened that the body can break it down rather easily and our immune system stores a memory of how to fight that virus. So, if you come into contact with a live-strain of that virus again your body will already have a defense against it and be able to fight off the infection pretty quickly.

Common ingredients in Vaccines

  • Antibiotics: They can be added to a vaccine to fight off any germs that contaminated the vaccine produced during the manufacturing process

  • Aluminum Salts: The purpose of these aluminum salts is to boost the immune system.

  • Formaldehyde: Formaldehyde kills bacteria and viruses so a vaccine could contain a dead strain. The immune system will still fight off this dead strain of the microbe and store memory of it for defense.

  • Other Ingredients: Sugars, amino acids, and albumin and or gelatin (proteins). These ingredients increase the shelf life of the vaccine allowing it to be stored for a long period of time.

  • Mercury: Most vaccines no longer contain any mercury products (thimerosal). Mercury prevents any bacterial or viral growth inside a vaccine. The common flu (influenza) vaccine does contain a very small amount of mercury. Many studies have been down on this topic and have shown no life-threatening side effects

*** Information Presented in this bold regarding the ingredient for vaccines was gathered from British Columbia Healthlink BC ***

Are Vaccines Effective at stopping the Spread of an Infectious Agent?

Immunizations help stop the spread of infection on a large scale. Although there is some evidence to suggest that not all vaccines are 100% effective, the overwhelming pros out-weigh the cons. Immunizations or vaccinations help protect people who receive them from becoming infected with an infectious agent. In addition to protecting themselves, they can also protect those who can not receive the vaccine. Certain medical conditions can affect an individual's immune system and make them more vulnerable to disease. These medical conditions can sometimes prevent someone from being able to receive a vaccine as the illness can cause the vaccine to do more hard than good. People that are able to receive immunizations can help protect those who cant.

Highlights of Receiving a Vaccine

  • High probability of protecting yourself against infection

  • Help protect at-risk populations such as children, the sick and the elderly.

  • Avoid Costly Medical treatment (especially if uninsured )

  • Avoid time off from work (especially if you live paycheck to paycheck)

  • Avoid the undesirable symptoms of head-ace, fatigue and fever infection could bring.

Why Are Immunizations Manitotary

As previously mentioned, some people are not able to receive vaccinations due to medical conditions that severely weaken their immune systems. People with these medical conditions may work at or attend public schools. No one should face the dilemma of choosing between going to work or school and potentially come into contact with a life-threatening infection and staying home without education or means of earning an income. In the United States, a vast majority of public schools require mandatory vaccinations to protect those who don't have a choice.

Common Required Vaccinations for daycare, pre-K and School Attendance

  • PVC (Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine)

  • Hi B (Haemophilus Influenzae Type B Conjugate) Vaccine

  • Men ACWY (Meningococcal Conjugate) Vaccine

  • Chickenpox (varicella) Vaccine

  • IPV/OPV (Polio) Vaccine

  • Hepatitis B Vaccine

  • Diphtheria, Tetanus, and Pertussis Vaccine (Dtap/DTD/Tdap)

*** Information presented in this blog regarding mandatory school vaccination was gathered from the New York State Department of Health***

Common Talking Points of Anti-Vaxxers

Anti-Vaxxers or the Anti-vaccination movement in recent years has gathered a lot of attention. Although, there are some very serious health complications that can come from receiving a vaccine the majority of these health complications are extremely rare. Also, much of the opposition to immunization is routed in long-standing misconceptions of the vaccines. To put the whole debate in a nut-shell some people do not feel as though vacations should be mandatory to due the adverse health risk some vaccines can pose. However, there is a risk associated with using an automobile and traveling on an airplane, and these things are rather necessary for our country to continue operating normally.

Common Misconceptions Of Immunizations

  • "Vaccines can cause Autism"

  • "Vaccines can overload child immune systems"

  • "Most vaccines are for diseases that have disappeared"

  • "If other people get vaccinated then I don't really have to"

  • "If I eat right and wash my hands ill be fine"

  • "I should get sick because it will strengthen my immune system"

Healthcare Workers and Vaccinations

Most healthcare facilities require their employees to receive annual vaccinations and booster shots. Nurses, Doctors, Patient Care Technicians, Medical Assistants, and Phlebotomy Technicians are all usually required to receive these vaccinations. These healthcare personal are required to have these vaccinations because the patients they interact with on a daily basis can be highly susceptible to infectious diseases.

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