It seems like every day, there’s a new transmissible virus. Many diseases for which immunization is now available used to be highly contagious. Thankfully, vaccines have changed all of that. Communicable health risks from the flu to COVID-19 and its variants are inescapable, but with immunization, they are preventable.
Vaccines work with the body to teach it how to fight a virus without infecting it with that very virus. It’s like your body’s taking a self-defense class on a particular infectious disease! Once you have a vaccine, your immune system gets to practice how it would protect itself from a virus attack. Our bodies are smart, and they learn quickly. And because of vaccines, they’re able to learn and become strong.
Immunizations are both an individual responsibility and an act of community care. Protecting yourself against a virus helps protect everyone you come in contact with. This includes your boss, your child’s teacher, or even the friendly grocery store checkout clerk. That’s why it’s essential that we never throw away our opportunity to get inoculated.
Every flu season is unique, and influenza infection can affect different patients differently. Millions of people get the flu every year, and a seasonal vaccine is the best way to protect yourself against it. Vaccination has many benefits. It reduces the risk or severity of flu illnesses and hospitalizations and prevents flu-related death in children.
According to a recent study, getting the annual flu shot reduces the risk of complications from COVID-19, such as deep vein thrombosis (DVT), sepsis, and stroke. One immunization supports the other! So don’t sleep on a flu vaccine, as it may help prevent severe COVID-19 infections as well.
Believe it or not, kids outgrow immunizations as quickly as they outgrow clothes! Your SFCHC pediatrician can help keep you on track with the right vaccines to keep your child safe from illness. (This also keeps them in school where they can continue to grow and learn.) California public schools require that children are up to date with vaccines before they enter kindergarten, where they will likely encounter more new germs than ever.
The DTaP vaccine protects against diphtheria and pertussis (also known as whooping cough). Both are contagious diseases with cold-like symptoms that spread through air or direct contact, and can be fatal. DTaP also defends against tetanus, which attacks the muscles after it’s contracted through broken skin. A vaccine like this is essential for kids, whose daily adventures usually include skinned knees and elbows.
Other immunizations that protect school-aged children are the MMR vaccine (measles, mumps, rubella), polio, IPV, varicella (chickenpox), and the flu. Keep your kids safe today as they grow, explore, and inevitably put weird things in their mouths.
Sixth grade is another big year for vaccinations. Make sure your middle-school-aged preteen is on schedule to receive immunizations for Tdap, HPV, and meningococcal diseases. Keeping kids healthy and safe keeps them learning.
As COVID continues to spread, it’s essential that everyone over six months old gets fully vaccinated against the virus. SFCHC reminds all patients that the COVID vaccine is free, no matter what your insurance or immigration status.
Please join us in making this school year the healthiest one yet! Call SFCHC at (818) 963-5690 to schedule all your necessary immunizations as soon as possible. We’re here to provide the highest level of care to you and your family!