MonthAugust 2015

What are vaccines?

What are vaccines

To battle deadly and potentially life-threatening diseases, scientists create vaccines/vaccinations that can prevent a virus from causing damage to your organs, blood stream, and muscles. The vaccines include a shot or a series of shots that can be given to a patient by a medical professional.

Vaccines can be used to prevent the spread of disease among children, adults, and the elderly. Vaccinations are especially useful for soldiers and missionaries who often travel to poverty stricken countries where some deadly viruses have not been eradicated.

To give a person a vaccine, the administration site (location on the body where the shot will be given) is sterilized with either an alcohol solution or iodine, the vial of medicine is attached to or placed into a syringe, and then the syringe is tapped to ensure there is no air bubble that can be injected with the medication.

Air bubbles can cause harm to a person if injected into a vein. Normally, a small amount of the vaccine is squirted out of the needle to reduce even a tiny chance of an air bubble.

What are vaccines1

There are five types of vaccinations that are commonly used throughout the world.

These vaccines are

An inactivated vaccine. This type of vaccine uses a dead strain of the virus. The dead virus is injected into a person’s body to create antibodies (cells that remain in the blood stream that can kill off any living virus cells that enter the body.) Polio and Typhoid are two vaccines utilizing dead viral cells.

Live vaccines. Live vaccines are created by using a living, yet weakened, strain of the virus. The virus is too weak to cause an active infection, but it can help the body create antibodies to that specific virus. Measles, mumps, and rubella vaccinations use live virus cells.

Subunit vaccines use sterilized portions of the virus. The sterilized pieces of the virus are injected into the body to create antibodies. The vaccinations for Hepatitis B and HIB (Haemophilus Influenzae) are subunit vaccines.

Toxoid vaccines take the virus and use chemical measures or alter the genes to create a safe version of the viral cells. Those cells can then be injected to help create antibodies. Diphtheria and tetanus are examples of Toxoid vaccines.

Finally, Naked DNA vaccines create antibodies by injecting a person with a specific strand of the virus’s DNA. The body then attacks that strand creating a defensive antibody for any future infection. Malaria and Dengue Fever are common Naked DNA vaccines.

Varicella or Chicken Pox vaccine

Varicella or Chicken Pox vaccine

Commonly called chickenpox, varicella is a common childhood disease that many adults have had during childhood. In 1995, a vaccine to prevent chicken pox entered the market. Today, the vaccine is highly recommended to parents of children between the ages of twelve and eighteen months. Unvaccinated children reaching the age of thirteen without having contracted chickenpox should have two doses of the vaccine spaced about six weeks apart.

Varicella or chickenpox is a virus that causes itchy red bumps all over the body and can cause a fever. While chickenpox in children is an itchy annoyance, it can be deadly for adults. There is a slim chance that chickenpox (1/10000) can lead to death.

The chance of the disease leading to pneumonia is slightly higher (23/10000). In a typical case of chickenpox, the symptoms can be reduced with calamine lotion and oatmeal baths. Once you have had chickenpox, odds are you will never have it again.

Should you have your child vaccinated for chickenpox? This is a tough question.

Varicella or Chicken Pox vaccine 1

The vaccine has been used for decades in Japan protecting the patient for up to twenty years. Studies in the United States there is no clear evidence that the vaccine will still protect a person after eleven years. When given within a month of the MMR (Measles, Mumps, and Rubella) vaccine, the varicella vaccine has proven to be ineffective.

The varicella vaccine is only 85 to 90 percent effective. Some vaccinated children later contracted a mild to moderate case of chickenpox anyway. There is a small risk (0.02%) that a child receiving the vaccination can develop a fever leading to deadly seizures. Typically reactions to the vaccine include swelling at the site of the injection, muscle soreness, and/or a rash.

Of those who have been vaccinated and contracted chickenpox down the road, the disease has been mild and easily managed with anti-itch creams and fever reducers.

Currently, the varicella vaccine is optional. It is up to the parents to choose if they want their child/children vaccinated or not. There are dangers to having the vaccine and there are dangers in not having the vaccine.

Contemplate the natural parents’ experiences with chickenpox, if applicable. Odds are if the parent handled the virus well, the child/children will follow suit.

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