• Syeda Haque

Myths about Immunizations and Vaccines

As fall starts to approach us, it’s time to start thinking about protecting yourself, your family and community! Immunizations are a great way to prevent diseases that are otherwise awful to deal with. But these days, vaccines seem to have a bad rep. We’re here to help you understand the fact from the fiction!

Vaccines are just for kids

Wrong! Vaccines are recommended not only for children but for adults as well. Kids need vaccines as they are growing up, but there are diseases that can affect adults at a much higher rate. Adults need to keep their vaccinations up to date because protection from childhood vaccines can wear off over time. Our immune system gets weaker with age making us more susceptible to certain diseases. Our jobs, lifestyle, travel and some health conditions (like cancer) can also increase our risk of getting exposed and infected with preventable diseases. Diseases like Flu, Shingles and Pneumonia are a few examples of these preventable diseases.

What’s even in a vaccine?

Vaccines are made up of three main components.

  • A liquid known as the suspending fluid, such as sterile water or saline.

  • Preservatives and Stabilizers: preservatives prevent bacterial or viral contamination of the liquid. Stabilizers make sure that the vaccines stay effective, despite temperature changes and during transport.

  • Adjuvants and Antigens : Adjuvants are things that help stimulate a stronger immune response without additional risk. Antigens are the inactivated or “dead” version of the virus or bacteria.

I heard that they contain harmful chemicals in them.

Recently, there has been a lot of talk about the presence of toxins in vaccines. This isn't completely true. If given in high enough amounts, these antimicrobial chemicals can be toxic. However, these chemicals are used in very small amounts and most are taken out before the final product is made and packaged. So don't worry! We're not injecting our kids with harmful substances.

Isn’t natural immunity better than vaccine immunity?

The risks of natural immunity far outweigh the benefits. If you or your child contract the disease normally, then you risk suffering through much more serious health complications. Vaccines activate the cells of the immune system with the antigens of a virus. Once the immune system is activated, it makes "memory" cells that remember those antigens, so the next time those cells see the antigen in your body, it automatically goes to attack those germs. Your body would fight off infections before you even get to feel sick!

Getting that disease has such a low chance in the US. There’s no point!

Just because we currently have a low prevalence of a disease doesn’t mean we can’t get it back! If the entire community is immunized against a contagious disease, then there are fewer people who can carry the virus. This protects babies and immuno-compromised who can't have the vaccine because of other health complications. Not to mention, the world is getting smaller. There’s millions of us traveling all around the world, whether it be for vacation, work or family. Being immunized protects us from diseases that may not be eradicated from other parts of the world and protects people who we might come into contact with as well.

Doctors are the only ones who can give vaccines

False! Pharmacists have the ability to administer vaccines as well! Thanks to the hard work of pharmacists and pharmacy students, NYS law now allows fully trained pharmacists to administer immunizations. It just makes sense! Since we’re already in the neighborhood, it’s more convenient to visit your local pharmacy than to set up a doctor’s appointment weeks in advance.

How is Central Ave Pharmacy different?

We offer the flu, meningitis, Tdap, pneumococcal and shingles vaccines. Not only that, we are a member of the Vaccines for Children program. This federally funded program provides vaccines to children who may not be vaccinated because of inability to pay. All children can receive the flu vaccine from Central Ave Pharmacy for FREE. If you’d like more information about this program, you can visit the CDC’s site for more information or just give us a call!

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