2600 Ottawa Road | PO Box 360 | Neodesha, KS 66757 | 620-325-2611
August is Immunization Awareness Month
This August, Wilson Medical Center is promoting National Immunization Awareness Month and encourages everyone to double-check that they are current on the necessary vaccinations. And remember, vaccines aren't just for kids. Vaccines can keep you, your children and your elderly parents from getting ill. "Childhood vaccinations are so important because young immune systems are more vulnerable to illnesses," said Toni Barnhart, APRN-C with Wilson Medical Center, Neodesha Family Medicine. "Serious side effects are rare from immunizations and they can help prevent children and adults from spreading a severe illness to others."
What are vaccines and why does my child need them? A vaccine is a preventive treatment for certain medical diseases. These diseases are caused by infections and spread from person to person. Vaccines not only help keep your child healthy, but they also help all children by limiting the spread of disease and possibly stamping out serious childhood diseases.
How do vaccines work? Shots inject a teeny piece of the germ that causes a disease into the child's system. But, instead of causing the disease, the body responds to it by making antibodies. These antibodies help the immune system fight the disease if your child is ever exposed to it. Injecting your child with the tiny part of the germ protects them. Vaccines kick the immune system into gear to react as if there were a real infection. The immune system can then fight the germ if it enters the body later. (Please note that the COVID-19 vaccines do NOT contain any of the live virus.)
Are vaccines safe? Yes! Some may cause mild, temporary side effects that include fever, soreness, or a lump where the vaccine shot was given. Ask your family provider about possible side effects.
When should my child get vaccinated? Your child's vaccines are mostly spaced throughout the first 24 months of their life. This is because young children's immune systems are not yet fully developed, so they are often at the greatest risk to contract a disease. The neat thing is that their immune system normally "remembers" what it has been exposed to through a vaccine. This means that they are most likely protected against a disease for years to come or even for their entire lifetime. Your child's provider will inform you of the recommended vaccination schedule. If you fall behind on your child's vaccinations, it's usually not too late to catch up. When should my child be through with vaccines? Immunizations are not just for children; they are recommended throughout a person's life. All ages - infants, toddlers, youth, teens, adults, and the elderly - need immunizations to prevent the spreading of diseases and poor health.
And finally, August is also a great month to get your COVID-19 vaccine if you're not up to date! If you have questions about this or any vaccine, be sure to ask your healthcare provider. Don't have a primary care provider (PCP)? Please know that our Family Medicine Health Clinic providers are here for you in three convenient locations: Neodesha Family Medicine (620-325 2622), Independence Family Medicine (620-331-2400), and Cherryvale Family Medicine (620-336-2131).