[YOUR HEALTH] Vaccines

By Yuna Muyinda, Blogger
St. Hope Foundation

August is Immunization Awareness Month. Immunizations can help prevent the onset of many diseases like tuberculosis, influenza and measles to name a few. Receiving immunizations can prevent you from contracting these diseases.

Vaccines help develop immunity by imitating an infection, but this “imitation” infection does not cause illness. What it does instead is cause the immune system to develop the same response as it does to a real infection so the body can recognize and fight the vaccine-preventable disease in the future. This reaction is stored in your body’s “memory” so that if you are exposed to the same infection at a later time, it has the proper means of defeating the infection. Although receiving vaccines is something that should be used as a precaution, in some cases, after getting a vaccine, the imitation infection can cause minor symptoms, such as fever. Such minor symptoms are normal and should be expected as the body builds immunity. In most cases, the fever does not last more than a few days.

We can all use this month to raise awareness about vaccines and share strategies to increase immunization rates with our communities and our agency.

Below are a few ways to increase the word on getting vaccines:

  • Talk to friends and family members about how vaccines aren’t just for kids. People of all ages can get shots to protect them from serious diseases.
  • Encourage people in your community to get the flu shot every year.
  • Invite a doctor or nurse to speak to parents about why it’s important for all kids to get vaccinated

Vaccines are also always offered at St. Hope Foundation. If you have any questions regarding vaccines or need to set an appointment to receive a vaccine, feel free to contact (713)778-1300.