Even within our advanced modern world, there are still several vaccine-preventable diseases that have yet to be eradicated. These include illnesses such as measles, pertussis (whooping cough), polio, tetanus, and many more. While many children and adults are able to fight off these infections naturally with their immune systems alone, these diseases can and do sometimes lead to serious, life-threatening complications. Fortunately, global vaccination programmes have helped to keep such infections under control by encouraging herd immunity. In South Africa, babies and children are vaccinated on a schedule, and proof of immunisation is required at many schools before enrolling. If you are seeking an immunisation clinic, we at The Local Choice can help you. Not only does each Baby Clinic provide the community with vaccine administering, but we have several other services, ideal for families seeking health and wellness support too.
What Are Immunisations and Vaccinations?
People often visit an immunisation clinic and assume that vaccines and immunisations are the same things. The difference between the two, however, is that vaccination is when a person receives a vaccine, while immunisation occurs only once the individual has received their vaccination and their body then becomes immune to the disease.
When exposed to a new, harmful pathogen (such as bacteria or a virus), your body triggers an immune response and creates antibodies to fight off and destroy the infection. A vaccine contains a harmless form of a virus or bacteria, and once injected, will trigger the same immune response in the body which fights off the invasion. The immune system retains a memory of this occurrence, and any exposure to the real pathogen means that antibodies are quickly produced to handle the infection swiftly. In this way, one’s body becomes immune to the vaccine-preventable disease.
Why Are Immunisations Important?
Thanks to vaccinations, diseases such as smallpox and polio are no longer considered the dangerous threat they once were. Unfortunately, children and immunocompromised individuals who do not have immunisation against these common diseases may become infected and face complications such as severe illness, disabilities, or even death. Immunising a child means protecting not only your child and immediate family from severe illness but contributing to the health and wellbeing of your entire community’s population. When enough people within a community are immune to a disease, the disease does not spread as easily to those who are not immune. This occurrence is known as “herd immunity”.
Common Myths Surrounding Immunisations
Some people would rather steer clear of an immunisation clinic because of misinformation and myths that often circulate. One major myth claimed is that vaccines are not safe or that they cause autism. This claim is false, as no link has been found between vaccines and autism in children. Vaccinations are also exhaustively evaluated to ensure safety and efficacy. You may have also heard that vaccines lead to cancer, which is false. In fact, vaccinating against viruses such as HPV is known to prevent various kinds of cancers. Another myth is that immunisation through disease is better than receiving a vaccine. This is also untrue because the risks of contracting certain diseases are immense, as they can include death and long-term poor health outcomes.
Why Each Immunisation Clinic Under Our Name is Different
When it comes to information and education, you can rely on our trusted household name for expert support. Not only do we assist with vaccinations, but baby wellness, scholar health, as well as screenings and essential nutritional and health advice. To find out how a Local Choice clinic and our team of professionals can partner with your family today, feel free to use our pharmacy locator here, or contact us with any of your questions or concerns.