Lately, there’s an onslaught of information about flu vaccines and other vaccinations. Unfortunately, a lot of it can be very misleading in terms of safety and importance of vaccinations. Here’s a quick overview why it’s important to protect yourself and others in your community by vaccinating yourself.
Vaccines are a very effective way to prevent getting and spreading infectious diseases. Vaccinating prevents up to 3 million deaths worldwide every year. Since vaccines were introduced in Australia, diseases like tetanus, pertussis (whooping cough), hepatitis B and Polio that used to kill millions of people are now very rare or completely gone. It’s important to keep up with regular vaccinating against those diseases.
Unfortunately, some viruses can be more aggressive and circulate each year. For instance, getting an annual flu vaccine is very critical as it can lower the risk of having a serious illness and getting hospitalised. The flu season in Australia usually runs from June to September, peaking in August, so it is crucial to get your flu vaccine in April or May.
At Bellambi Pharmacy, we offer most vaccinations without appointment, alternatively you can book online for a scheduled time.
- Protect you from many serious and potentially deadly diseases.
- Help stopping the spread of diseases.
- Go under extremely thorough and careful testing before becoming available to the public. After the vaccines are being introduced, they are also being constantly monitored for any side effects.
- Vaccinations may cause mild side effects that can last for a few days.
- Do not cause autism, there’s no evidence of a link between vaccinations and autism.
- Do not weaken your immune system. It has the opposite effect. Your body starts producing antibodies and memory cells to fight off what is thinks is an infection.
- Vaccinations are not the cause of allergies. But if you do have allergies or any other conditions, speak to your doctor beforehand.
- Do not contain mercury.
- Do not cause the diseases they are designed to prevent.
This is where the information can be very confusing as people don’t know or understand what exactly is injected in their body during the vaccination process. The main ingredient of all vaccines is a small amount of virus, bacteria or toxin that has been weakened or destroyed in a laboratory first. Hence, people can’t catch the disease from a vaccine. There’s two types of vaccinations: live and killed. The latter means the bacteria has been completely destroyed and can be given to people who are ill or have a weakened immune system. You may have to get repeat doses. For example, the Flu vaccine is given every year as flu viruses are always changing. Live vaccination means the virus or bacteria has been weakened and can only be given to a healthy person. This will give long-term protection.
Other ingredients are used in a very small amounts, if even at all, it depends on the specific vaccine. Some more popular ingredients are aluminium, egg protein, formaldehyde and antibiotics. These are all safe, but always let your doctor know if you have any allergies.
For example, here are the key ingredients you’ll find in a flu vaccine: egg protein, preservatives, stabilisers, antibiotics, formaldehyde and polysorbate 80. Read more about flu vaccination.
Vaccines can mean the difference between life and death. They prevent diseases that can cause serious illness, long-term disability and death. The more people vaccinate, the harder it is for the disease to spread. It’s called “Herd immunity”. It will protect the ones who can’t have the vaccine or have weakened immune system.
If you have any concerns or questions, don’t hesitate to call us or visit our pharmacy.