Vaccinations are a very important part of both personal and public health. Vaccines aid in the prevention of contagious and deadly diseases. Doing this is widely recognized as one of the world’s most successful and cost-effective health interventions. It saves up to 3 million lives worldwide each year from infectious diseases. Such diseases include hepatitis, diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough, measles and polio. However, despite the research and proven effectiveness of vaccines and the countless lives they have saved, still about half a million people die each year from diseases vaccines could prevent.
August is National Immunization Awareness Month. This is dedicated to raising awareness of the importance of vaccines to people of all ages and backgrounds. Our English speaking doctors realize the need for this and have provided some facts regarding the importance of vaccinations.
What Are Vaccinations?
A vaccine, also called an immunization, is a way to build up the body’s tolerance to a disease. By doing this, your body will understand how to fight the disease if you come in contact with it later on. It is then extremely unlikely that you will then become sick.
This is done by injecting a weakened form of the disease into the body usually in the form of a shot in the arm or leg. Your body detects the germ, called an antigen, and builds up the ability to then fight it, called antibodies. Antibodies then stay in your body for a long period of time. Because the strain injected is so weak, it helps your body become immune to the disease, without becoming sick from it. So, you get the protection without ever having to become sick.
Who Should Get Vaccinated?
It is so important to get vaccinated not only to protect yourself, but others as well. In other words, if everyone gets vaccinated from a specific disease, eventually no one will carry it. Over time, this will wipe out disease that could spread now and into the future.
This is one of the reasons why children in particular should especially be vaccinated. Early childhood vaccines are one of the best ways to protect your child from serious diseases that can be especially dangerous for infants and very young children. By vaccinating your children, you can help keep your family and your community healthy. Recommendations about when to have your child vaccinated changes from time to time. You can get a copy of the most current child and adolescent vaccination schedules from an organization, such as a family doctor or pediatrician. Your child should usually receive their first vaccine not long after they are born.
Adults also need vaccines. Age alone increases the risk of potentially serious infections for those over the age of 65. This is because the body’s immune system naturally weakens with age. Vaccines work by teaching the body’s immune system to recognize and defend against harmful viruses or bacteria before getting an infection. This reduces the chance of getting certain infectious diseases.
See the importance of vaccinations in just 1 minute.
Vaccinations in Barcelona
The Spanish healthcare system is one of the best in the world, with around 90% of its population currently using it. If you live or work in Spain, you have access to the country’s public healthcare system which means your vaccinations are free!
If you happen to be on holiday in Spain and need an emergency vaccination, all EU residents are generally entitled to free healthcare for the first three months of their stay by using their European Health Insurance Card.
Traveling abroad or just remembered you need a vaccination? Book an appointment with our English speaking doctors now.