Tag: Immunization

How to Avoid Preventable Illness: Get Vaccinated

August is National Immunization Awareness Month. Vaccines are a vital part of healthcare at all stages of life and offer the best protection available against many potentially devastating illnesses — especially COVID-19.

The ultimate goal of protecting the world’s population from the COVID-19 pandemic can likely only be achievable through the equitable distribution of vaccines. There are currently three vaccines approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for emergency use against the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus that causes COVID-19 for all adults and children as young as 12 years old​​.

Vaccines have been a crucial part in developing children’s health for decades. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) encourages parents to follow an immunization schedule for babies and young children, protecting them from 14 life-affecting diseases. Pre-teens and teenagers should begin to inoculate against meningococcal diseases (meningitis or septicemia) and HPV

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How Vaccines Work

The COVID-19 pandemic is a reminder of the important role immunization plays in preventing infections. Vaccinations contribute to stopping epidemics/pandemics  and greatly benefit public health. Like polio and influenza before it, vaccinations against the novel coronavirus will be a major part of trying to stop the global pandemic. Vaccines are vital to herd immunity and preventing infection without causing the disease.

The Immune System

To understand how vaccinations work, it is necessary to know something about the human immune system which is responsible for fighting off and protecting against infection. The primary component is white blood cells. To fight infection, white blood cells react to proteins on the virus or bacteria surface called antigens. White blood cells can fight infections directly or produce a variety of defenses. There are many types of white blood cells, each playing a different role in the body’s fight against bacteria and viruses.

Neutrophils and Macrophages

White blood cells called neutrophils

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Welcome to the NeedyMeds Voice! We look forward to presenting you with timely, provocative pieces on healthcare reform, patient advocacy, medication and healthcare access, and other health-related news. Our goals are to educate, enlighten, and elucidate; together, we will try to make sense of the myriad and ongoing healthcare-related changes in the U.S. today.