August has been named National Immunization Awareness Month (NIAM) in an annual effort to promote getting vaccinated. NIAM reminds us that people of all ages should remain up-to-date on their vaccines to help prevent problematic diseases. NIAM is sponsored by the National Public Health Information Coalition (NPHIC) and the Center of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Prevention: The Best Cure
Vaccinations have largely limited or eradicated diseases that traditionally infected and killed many. A vaccine is designed to immunize people and prevent the spread of illnesses. Even if diseases are not “present,” the bacteria and viruses that cause them still exist.
This is becoming very clear with the reemergence of diseases that were thought to be gone.
More than two dozen diseases that are “vaccine-preventable” have been surging in recent years—even in the United States, which has almost universal access to vaccines. The reason? Nonimmunization.
Far too many Americans are admitted to hospitals each year for conditions that could have been prevented; many victims are children. In fact, in North Carolina in 2017, there was an outbreak of whooping cough (pertussis)—17 cases of this disease that was, before now, seen mostly in prairie days!
Facts About Vaccines
- They lower the likelihood of spreading certain diseases.
- The Food and Drug Administration handles testing, monitoring, and licensing for vaccines.
- Antibodies within our immune system are fueled by vaccines.
- Currently, the U.S. vaccine supply is the safest in history.
Side Effects & Risks
Vaccines usually have very mild side effects, such as swelling or irritation at the injection site, which vanish quickly. Severe side effects, like having an allergic reaction, are very rare. During the process of licensure, the side effects of a vaccine are considered by the FDA before the vaccination is released to the public.
In closing, vaccines are largely safe, but not all other drugs are. If you’ve suffered an adverse reaction to a medication, call Rhine Law Firm, P.C. We are experienced in a wide variety of cases of personal injury, wrongful death, medical malpractice, product liability, and more. For a free initial consultation, contact our office today at (910) 772-9960.