Vaccinations, also known as immunizations, are a method of preventing infectious diseases by introducing a small, safe amount of a disease-causing microorganism (such as a virus or bacteria) into the body. The body’s immune system then produces antibodies to fight the microorganism and develop immunity to the disease.
Vaccines are typically given through injection, but some can be given orally or through nasal spray. They are often administered in childhood, but can also be given to adults.
Vaccinations are important because they help prevent the spread of infectious diseases and protect individuals from serious illnesses and complications. Some common vaccines that are recommended for children and adults include:
- Measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR)
- Tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis (Tdap)
- Influenza (flu)
- Hepatitis A and B
- Human papillomavirus (HPV)
- Pneumococcal disease
Vaccines are rigorously tested for safety and effectiveness before they are approved for use, and the benefits of vaccination far outweigh the risks. While some people may experience mild side effects such as soreness at the injection site or a low-grade fever, serious complications from vaccination are extremely rare.
It’s important to follow recommended vaccination schedules to protect both individuals and the broader community from infectious diseases.