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VACCINATIONS - WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT THEM
From the moment they are born, we want to protect our babies from all the nasty diseases that can make them very sick and even kill them when they get older. It is adviseable to give our children all the necessary protection against the various Infectious Diseases by having the vaccinated.
Some vaccines are know to contain living microbes (in a harmless form) and these will be give your baby lasting protection. Vaccines which are made from dead microbes or from the toxins that are produced, usually have to be given several times the achieve the best results possible,
In each case the body is stimulated to produce substances that are called Antibodies, which the body produces. When your child is immunized early in their lives, they are not only being protected from diseases, the the spread of diseases is greatly reduced in the community in which you live. Most forms of immunizations usually carry very little risk.
However, some forms of vaccinations may be dangerous for a child who has suffered from convulsions or if anyone in the family suffers from having fits. If this is the case, certain kinds of vaccinations may not be advisable and it is recommended that you should discuss all options with your doctor. As well, it is also advised that you should never have your child immunized if the baby or child is unwell.
TYPICAL IMMUNIZATION SCHEDULE
2 months - Diptheria,Tetanus and Pertussis
4 months Diptheria, Tetanus and Pertussis
6 months Diptheria, Tetanus and Pertussis
12 months Measles, Mumps and Rubella
18 months Diptheria, Tetanus and Pertussis
5 Years Diptheria and Tetanus
10-16 years Rubella (girls)
15 years Diptheria and Tetanus
VACCINATIONS ARE NOT JUST FOR THE CHILDREN
The need for vaccinations is not just confined to children. Older people, because of their weaker immune systems, may benefit from being vaccinated against diseases that particularly affected older people. They may also benefit from having booster shots of some of the childhood vaccinations whose effect has worn off later in their lives.
I have briefly covered below some of the vaccinations that I think could be very beneficial for the older people. Here are just a few that I thought you might be interested in.
Although I have read that most people who have contracted Swine Flu get a mild dose, it can be serious and even life-threatening for some . People who have certain types of chronic illnesses, it seems that young children and pregnant women seem to be more vulnerable.
Because of its potential danger, the Government recommends that everyone should be vaccinated against swine flu, to prevent the more vulnerable people from getting it, and to reduce its spread in the community. The vaccine is available free of charge to everyone.
Older people and people with chronic illnesses are more likely to become seriously ill if they get the flu, because their immune systems are weaker. It is recommended that the following people be vaccinated against the flu every year:
- People aged 65 years and over
- People with chronic illnesse, such as heart, lung and kidney conditions and diabetes
- People who are smokers
People should have annual injections because the flu is a virus which is constantly changing. Each year, new vaccines are developed to protect people against the form of the virus expected to be the most common in the community for that year. If people want to be protected, then they must have had the latest vaccine. The flu vaccine is free for people aged 65 years and over, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples aged 50 years and over
Pneumococcal disease is an infection that can cause pneumonia and other problems in older people, people with weak immune systems, and people who smoke or have a lung condition.
The pneumococcal vaccine is recommended and is available free of charge for people aged 65 years and over, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who are 50 and over, and other people who are more likely to develop the infection because they have a chronic illness.
Over the years, adults can lose their immunity to whooping cough - this is also know as pertussis. As a result of this happening, people wh had whooping cough or were vaccinated when they were children, can get it as adults and pass it on to young babies who have as yet not been fully immunised.
Over half of the infants that develop Whooping Cough pick it up from members of their families. People who are aged 50 years or over, particularly those in contact with young children, would be advised to consider having a booster pertussis vaccination, so they don't pass it on to young children. This vaccination is usually combined with a vaccination against tetanus and diptheria.
TETANUS AND DIPTHERIA
People who are aged 50 years and over who have not had a booster vaccination in the last ten years, should have one Also adults who have not had a tetanus booster in the last five years, should have one if they get a "dirty' cut or a wound, such as a gardening wound or a nail puncture, that could become infected with tetanus.
Shingles can be a very unpleasant condition with long-lasting after effects. People over 50 who have had chickenpox may want to consider being vaccinated against shingles.
The recommendations I have mentioned here are a just general suggestions only. Some people may be advised to have other vaccinations, particularly if they missed some of their childhood vaccinations, or they have medical conditions which increase their chances of contracting certain infections.
You should discuss with your doctor any concerns you may have. The vaccinations that might be beneficial for you will depend on your Age, Health and Lifestyle. Please talk about which vaccinations might be appropriate for you with your doctor, it could end up being something you will be very glad you did.