Preventing Diseases Through Vaccinations
There is no other way to prevent infectious diseases as effective as vaccines. They protect us from a wide range of serious and potentially fatal illnesses. They also protect our children, families and wider communities by helping to stop the spread of such illnesses to people who might not be able to have vaccinations or those who have weakened immune systems.
If you are travelling abroad, it might be necessary for you to be vaccinated against diseases that are found in other parts of the world. These include typhoid, yellow fever and hepatitis A. Not all diseases found outside the UK are covered in the NHS routine immunisation schedule.
Vaccines effectively reduce the threat posed by the diseases for which they are designed to protect us from. Sometimes vaccines can almost get rid of certain diseases altogether if enough people are vaccinated. This is the case with diseases such as smallpox, tetanus and polio. Other diseases have been reduced massively such as diphtheria and measles. This is thanks to the introduction of the vaccines that have been made to combat them.
It is important to remember that, if people stop having vaccines, the risk of infectious diseases like these spreading again is a real possibility…
To learn more about a vaccine it is important to know where to get information from. Many false or biased opinions can be found on social media and other places online. It is important to understand these might not be based on scientific facts and evidence.
To understand more about a vaccine, the common side effects, potential allergic reactions. Or if you are unsure about you or your children having a vaccine then help is available. Speak to your GP, practice nurse or health visitor. They will be able to provide you with facts based on science and research and answer any questions you might have. You should also speak to your GP if you think you or your child may have missed any vaccinations.
The NHS website contains a useful guide on the vaccinations available for everyone from newborn children to adults. It details the ages at which they should be had in their routine immunisation schedule found here.
The vaccination program for COVID-19 has now begun in the UK and has commenced with the people most at risk. People aged 80 and over, residents and staff of care homes and health care workers considered at high risk. This is just the first stage of the rollout. The vaccine will be offered more widely based on the order of priority and in more locations as soon as possible. You will be contacted by the NHS when the time comes to be vaccinated.
For more information regarding the COVID-19 vaccine, visit the NHS website here. For help and advice on vaccines or if you are travelling abroad, contact your GP or pharmacy.