What is Immunization

When a person gets sick, their body produces antibodies to combat the illness and help them get well. After the disease goes away, the antibodies remain in the body to guard against subsequent infection from the same illness. This is known as immunity, but you do not have to get ill to develop it. Immunity from a disease can also be achieved through immunization which will be the focus of this article.

Immunity via Immunization

Vaccination, or immunization, helps protect people from a disease through the introduction of a vaccine into the body. This triggers a response in the immune system the same as would occur if exposed naturally to the disease. A vaccine has the same antigens that lead to disease, but the antigens are either weakened or killed. Vaccines function by tricking the body into believing it has been attacked by the disease.

Vaccination help build immunity without the person having to suffer from illness or risk potentially deadly complications resulting from disease. Upon a person being immunized, memory cells are developed that lessen disease symptoms upon future infection or prevent the person from re-infection should they encounter the disease again later in life. It should be noted however that some vaccines do not provide life-long immunity and require periodic booster shots throughout adulthood to preserve immunity.

Vaccination is Not Just for Kids

Regardless of a person’s age, receiving vaccination offers the most effective and longest-lasting protection from disease. Diseases that can be prevented through vaccination can be serious and in certain cases, lead to potentially lethal complications that could necessitate hospitalization. This is particularly concerning for infants and young kids that are more susceptible to infection. As such, it is important for children to be vaccinated according to a set schedule to ensure they have the necessary protection as early as possible prior to exposure to disease.

While critical for children, immunization is also important in adulthood to help shield against disease and promote overall health. This is due to certain immunizations that are received as a child which fail to provide lifelong immunity against certain illnesses. As such, adults are recommended to receive booster shots to help preserve immunity and to protect against adulthood diseases like shingles.

If not properly immunized as a child, adults run the risk of infection from diseases that could otherwise be prevented through a vaccine. This could also lead to the person infecting others. For example, if an unvaccinated adult gets sick from measles or mumps, they could easily spread the disease to an infant that is not fully immunized yet.

Illnesses That Immunization Protect Against

Vaccines have been responsible for bringing many serious diseases and illnesses under control. In some cases, such as with polio, vaccines have virtually eradicated the disease around the world. Some of the diseases that immunization offers protection against include:

* Diptheria
* Blood infections
* Ear infections
* Haemophilus Influenzae type b
* Hepatitis A
* Hepatitis B
* Human Papillomavirus (HPV)
* Influenza (the flu)
* Measles
* Mumps
* Rubella
* Pertussis (whooping cough)
* Pneumonia
* Polio
* Rotavirus
* Tetanus
* Chickenpox (varicella)
* Meningitis


12 Main Vaccinations for Immunization