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Everything you ever needed to know about vaccines

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Vaccines are our best bet against most existing infections as well as variants we may be exposed to in the future. When we receive a vaccination, our body’s immune system gets stimulated to fight off illnesses even before we have been exposed to them.

How do vaccines work?

In response to a vaccine antigen, specialized immune system cells called T and B cells, become activated so that if we are infected by the same germ at a later time, our body’s immune defence system will recognize the invaders and protect us.

Live vaccines use a weakened (or attenuated) form which are very similar to the natural infection, hence, they help create a strong and long-lasting immune response.

Inactivated vaccines contain killed or inactive versions of the infectious pathogen. Vaccines with a dead virus work because once the dead pathogen reaches the immune system, the immune system reacts and the body knows how to fight the virus, without the danger of getting sick from that vaccine.

Both types have been proven to be safe, effective and necessary for building immunity.

Vaccination, hesitancy and why it exists?

Some of the common misconceptions surrounding vaccinations exist purely due to a lack of proper understanding of how they actually work. As long as there is a physician consultation in place, there is no reason to worry about potential side effects or risks.

Are vaccines really necessary?

Most vaccines are available as injections and while they can be uncomfortable for some to take, the result is definitely worth the process for the following reasons –

  1. Vaccines are important to protect ourselves, no matter how minute the chances of being infected might be.
  2. Vaccines are important to keep the community safe. There are individuals who cannot get vaccinated (eg – those suffering from autoimmune disorders or on immunosuppressants, those who can’t afford it or do not have access to sufficient healthcare) which makes it even more vital for those who can to do so.
  3. Vaccines help build herd immunity. The more number of people vaccinated against as many preventable diseases as possible, the more are our chances of eliminating vaccine preventable diseases altogether.

How safe are vaccines?

All vaccines are rigorously tested to make sure they will not harm you or your child. It often takes many years for a vaccine to make it through the trials and tests it needs to pass for approval. They’re thoroughly tested and go through many rounds of study, examination, and research before they’re used with the general public.

What is NHS’s take on vaccination?

NHS believes vaccination is the most important thing we can do to protect ourselves and our children against ill health. Since vaccines were introduced in the UK, diseases like smallpox, polio and tetanus that used to kill or disable millions of people are either gone or seen very rarely.

Additionally, NHS advocates childhood vaccinations to help build immunity from a young age. You can read more about the schedule and how to plan your child’s vaccination.

How Nurturey PinkBook can assist you?

Nurturey PinkBook, the smartest digital upgrade to the NHS paper red book, helps manage your child’s vaccination journey by

  1. Sending reminders about upcoming vaccination – Don’t worry about forgetting a vaccination – we can help you keep track! Leading up to the date of vaccination, we will send helpful reminders that make sure your child never misses a dose.
  2. Booking an appointment with your GP – We’ll remind you to book an appointment for your child’s vaccination. Once booked through our app, we’ll update your calendar, sending you reminders about the upcoming appointment so you can plan your family’s schedule.
  3. Sending NHS guidance related to vaccinations – Parents may have questions about vaccinations so we help get you the answers. Receive trusted parental guidance directly from the NHS related to vaccinations and their care to keep you informed and updated.
  4. Accessing your child’s vaccination records – GP-linked accounts reflect the records your GP maintains – thus, you can view previous vaccinations and keep a track of upcoming ones to help manage your child’s schedule.

All in all, Nurturey PinkBook’s Vaccinations tool is an intuitive PinkBook feature that helps you track and manage your child’s vaccinations effectively and in a timely manner.

Suggested Reading: NHS | Why vaccination is safe and important

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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About Author

Anisha Sodhi is a General Physician with a Bachelors Degree in Medicine and Surgery (MBBS). Her main takeaway from the degree was how important communication is as people tend to get easily overwhelmed and confused while visiting doctors. Joining Team Nurturey gave her the chance to do exactly that because nobody requires as much reassurance and support as parents to be or parents.

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