Immunity 101: The Big Five Vaccines

July 26, 2023

Health Hack

So, you've probably heard of immunizations. Maybe you've got a couple under your belt already–high five for being proactive! Whether you're a seasoned vaccine veteran or just dipping your toe into the immunization waters, it's always good to know what they are all about and why they matter to each and every one of us.

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What are immunizations?

First order of business is defining the differences between immunizations and vaccines. Consider this your crash course! Vaccines and immunization (or vaccination) are majorly interrelated. 

Immunization is the process one undergoes to become protected against a disease. You may hear this term interchanged with vaccination, because people usually become immunized through the administration of a vaccine. 

A vaccine is like a teacher for your immune system, showing it how to recognize and fight harmful germs, so you can stay healthy and protected from certain diseases. They typically come in the form of a shot, but sometimes are given via spray into the nose or mouth.

What do I need to know about vaccines?

Before we dive into the nitty-gritty, let's bust a few myths surrounding the need for vaccines. 

Myth #1: Vaccines are just for kids. Reality check: Nope! Adults can benefit from vaccines too. It's never too late to stay protected and healthy.

Myth #2: Worried about vaccine safety? Fear not! Vaccines undergo rigorous testing to ensure they're not only effective but also safe. Your well-being is a top priority.

Myth #3: Relying on natural immunity is enough. Unfortunately, some diseases can be seriously harmful, leaving lasting effects. Vaccines provide a safer and more straightforward shield against them. Plus, it helps safeguard those around you.

Myth #4You can’t get vaccinations while pregnant. Firstly, we always recommend chatting with your doctor before making decisions during pregnancy. However, certain vaccinations–such as flu shots–can protect your baby in utero and after birth.

At ZoomCare, we believe in empowering you to make the best decisions for your healthcare. Armed with accurate information, you can confidently choose what's right for you. Remember, your well-being is in your hands! Stay informed, stay protected.

Which vaccines should I get?

Across the board, there are five major vaccines we recommend getting. Discover the unique powers of each vaccine and the perfect timing to give them a shot.

1. Tdap

  • Tdap vaccine protects against tetanus, diphtheria, and whooping cough (pertussis).
  • CDC recommends tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis vaccination across our lifespan.
  • This vaccine is recommended for older children, pregnant women, and adults.
  • A single dose of Tdap is recommended for adolescents, preferably at 11 to 12 years of age.
  • A single dose of Tdap is recommended during every pregnancy, preferably during the early part of gestational weeks 27-36.
  • A single dose of Tdap is recommended in all adults who have never received a Tdap vaccine, and every 10 years as a booster.

2. Hepatitis A

  • Hepatitis A is a liver infection caused by the hepatitis A virus.
  • The vaccine is recommended for children 12-23 months, but is available for adults who have not been vaccinated. 

3. Hepatitis B

  • Hepatitis A is a liver infection caused by the hepatitis B virus.
  • The vaccine is recommended for infants, children and teens under the age of 19 years old, but is available for adults who have not been vaccinated. 

4. HPV

  • According to the CDC about 85% of people will get an HPV infection in their lifetime. 
  • HPV vaccination could prevent more than 90% of cancers, including cervical cancer, caused by the virus from ever developing.
  • HPV is a group of more than 200 related viruses.
  • The vaccine is recommended for children 11-12 years, although is available for adults, up to age 45.

5. Flu

  • Flu (influenza) is a respiratory system infection of the nose, throat and lungs.
  • The vaccine is recommended for anyone 6 months and older each year in the fall or early winter.

How do I get immunized?

Now that you've got the inside scoop on immunizations and top-notch vaccines, you can work with a medical provider to protect your health. Connect with a ZoomCare Primary Care Provider, and we'll work together to keep your immunity in tip-top shape. 

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