Humans, as well as other living beings, are constantly exposed to all sorts of viruses. It is the nature of biology. Bacteria, microbes and viruses are all key parts of life as we know it on this planet. We depend upon them for basic biological processes.
Without them, we would not be here. But nature is a double-edged weapon. Most of these are not harmful. But there are those strains that are detrimental to our health. Our immune system helps us fend off against infections. We are constantly exposed to potential infections. And it is this exposure that often gives us lifelong immunity to certain strains.
In this introduction, we have just summarized how vaccines work. Vaccines make out immune system remember the microbe. They help us develop immunity in a much faster and reliable way. Here are some of the ways vaccines help us.
1. The importance of vaccines
Vaccination has been around for some time now. It is one of the most important inventions in the medical industry right next to antibiotics and penicillin. It is estimated that they prevent around 3 million deaths every year.
Smallpox, polio and tetanus are pretty much a thing of the past. Iron lungs are no longer in use because there is no need for those anymore. Measles and diphtheria are almost rooted out of existence. The point is, the world would look a lot different if vaccines were not invented. They improve the quality of life.
More importantly, they greatly improve the prospect of life, as well. But, it is an ongoing process. We need to keep improving on vaccines in order for them to remain effective. The theory of herd immunity dictates that people need to be consistent in their vaccinations and therefore, immunizations.
2. The workings of a vaccine
Vaccines contain within them a small and alternated version of the disease. This concoction is made in a way that is easy for your body to overcome. As a result, your body forms an immunity to the real deal. The antibodies created during this process serve us forever. We mentioned the Herd immunity before.
It is the pretty much-proven theory that a vaccine not only benefits the individual but the entire community. Basically, if enough people are vaccinated, it is harder for the disease to spread in a given community. That goes for the minority that, for whatever reason, cannot be vaccinated.
There are people who are ill or have a weakened immune system. These individuals can sometimes be exempt from being vaccinated. If herd immunity is achieved, even those people are protected. It comes down to collective responsibility. We are responsible for ourselves, but for others as well.
3. The question of safety
The theory that vaccines are not safe has been around for quite a while. Pretty much all of those theories have been scientifically disproven. All vaccines are systematically tested so they do not harm anyone in need of them. The process through which a vaccine goes through to become approved is no common knowledge. In fact, it always takes many years of clinical trials and testing for a vaccine to be introduced to the general population.
They need to be side-effect free as much as possible. Of course, it is never possible to achieve 100% side-effect-free drug. So, the name of the game is to reduce and prevent any side-effects as much as possible. The cutting edge lab equipment that is required for such inventions is constantly evolving. Along with that, transportation and the storage of said vaccines need to be impeccable. Only then can a vaccine be administered.
4. Possible side effects of vaccines
It must be noted, side effects, if any, are usually mild and do not last long. Some of the most common ones are sensations of irritation around the puncture in the skin. The place where the needle went in can appear red and be sore for a couple of days.
Children can develop a high temperature and can feel unwell for one to two days. This is perfectly normal. On the other side, we have allergic reactions. These are also very rare. And the more severe reactions are exceptionally rare. These can vary in symptoms and appear within minutes of administration.
People that are performing the vaccinations are trained to deal with any and all such reactions. In any way, you will be taken care of, if such a situation arises. Realistically, there is next to zero reasons to be worried about vaccines.
Vaccines are made of ingredients that are safe and effective for everyone. And that is no small feat. One vaccine has to suit all. There is comfort in knowing that. As we all become a part of the same immune system, we protect ourselves and our loved ones as well.