When you are vaccinated, you are injected with a weakened form of a disease which triggers your body’s immune response, so it either produces antibodies to that disease, or it starts other processes that help to enhance your immunity. Afterward, if you are exposed to the actual disease, your immune system is more prepared to fight the infection.
Some vaccines are given only once while others require booster shots occasionally to continue protection against disease.
Usually, vaccination will prevent disease or will reduce its severity. It is much safer and more cost-effective to prevent disease than to treat it.
Over the year’s vaccines have prevented epidemics of infectious diseases that were once common, including:
- Whooping cough
Vaccines have helped almost to eradicate some diseases such as smallpox and polio.
Proof of immunization is often a prerequisite for daycare or school enrolment, so it is important to ensure your child receives their vaccines.