Immunizations play an essential role in helping you stay healthy, giving your body the extra support it needs to fight off serious infections. Yet despite the benefits of vaccines, many people hesitate to get immunizations because of fears of getting sick afterward.
If you’re worried that immunizations might make you feel sick, here’s what the team wants you to know.
Your body’s immune system is designed to help you stay healthy, but you’re not born with all the protection you need. Immunizations provide your body with the tools necessary to fight many life-threatening infections and illnesses.
In fact, vaccines are so important that they begin in the first months of life and continue throughout your adult years.
Immunizations help your body create proteins called antibodies. These proteins help recognize and destroy germs when they enter your body. Because every germ is different, you need a variety of vaccines to stay healthy. Each vaccine fights a specific infection.
When you receive an immunization, your body goes to work creating the unique antibodies needed to fight off infection. Once your body learns to recognize and fight the germ, it initiates that germ-fighting process on its own if that germ tries to “invade” your body.
Many people worry that immunizations cause the very sicknesses they’re meant to prevent.
However, that’s extremely unlikely. Most immunizations use inactive or dead germs or tiny parts (typically proteins) of germs in their formulations, none of which can cause infection. All vaccines in the United States are continually monitored for safety.
That doesn’t mean you can’t develop side effects from immunizations.
For instance, people often experience minor tenderness near the injection site that goes away within a few days. If your injection is in your arm, you may have some stiffness or soreness for a day or two when you use your arm or when you press the area around the injection site.
Some people may develop mild flu-like symptoms following a vaccination. This, too, is normal — in fact, it’s evidence that your immune system works.
Mild fever or achiness may occur when your immune system ramps up to build the antibodies you need to fight off that particular illness. These symptoms also go away in a day or so.
Finally, a few people may develop allergic reactions to vaccines. These reactions are most commonly associated with vaccines developed using eggs. If you have any allergies — to eggs or other foods or medicines — let your provider know before receiving any immunization.
Most people think of immunizations as a childhood treatment, but you need them during your adult years too. While some act as boosters to maintain the effects of childhood vaccines, others — like the shingles and pneumonia vaccines — are designed specifically for adults.
Keeping your immunizations up to date is important for your health, especially as you get older. To find out more about the immunizations we offer, call 786-321-2399 or book an appointment online at I & B Medical Associates today.