In recent years, there have been an increasing number of divergent viewpoints on whether or not to get vaccinated.
This “diatribe” has centered on the flu vaccine in particular. However, we feel it is important to try to define what vaccines are and what the benefits, if any, of applying this disease-prevention strategy that has truly changed the course of history.
First and foremost, we must remember that, in addition to proper hygiene measures, vaccines constitute a real “primary” preventive option for many infectious illnesses.
Smallpox has been eradicated, tetanus, poliomyelitis, and diphtheria have all but vanished, and illnesses like hepatitis B, measles, rubella, mumps, and meningitis have all been considerably reduced because to the widespread use of vaccinations in medical practice.
The pathogen (an inactivated virus, a “part” of a virus or bacteria, or an inactivated toxin) is brought in touch with the organism during vaccination to trigger the body’s proper defensive response: a type of “mild disease” that permits the formation of a permanent immunity, or at least one that lasts long enough, to prevent getting the disease in all of its severity and consequences, especially in very sensitive individuals. So it’s a completely different activity than when we use antibiotics to attempt to combat an illness that’s already started (antibiotics only work against bacteria, not viral infections like the flu or measles, for example).
Vaccines can be divided into those that protect against viral diseases (such as hepatitis A or B, influenza, measles or rubella, polio, rabies, or HPV infection) and those that protect against bacterial diseases (such as diphtheria, tetanus, or meningococcal meningitis); additionally, there is a distinction between “compulsory” and “optional” vaccinations (even if the latter become)
Perhaps it isn’t essential to discuss the benefits of vaccines, but we feel it is vital to discuss the following concepts:
At least in nations where significant vaccination programs have evolved, certain illnesses have now been completely eradicated (e.g. smallpox or polio)
Numerous diseases, in addition to causing “issues” in the acute phase (fever, respiratory difficulties, need for rest, etc.), also cause “problems” in the chronic phase. Which, in certain circumstances, can be a significant problem in of themselves (for example, the flu in the elderly or in those with chronic illnesses like diabetes or bronchial pneumopathies) can leave dangerous remnants) (for example post measles encephalitis, or post flu neurological diseases, post meningitis neurological damage, etc.) As a result, if the infectious form is avoided, problems are rarely observed.
Furthermore, from a social standpoint, the vaccinated basin serves as a “barrier” in defense of the entire population, including the most vulnerable individuals who, if infected, may face greater difficulties. For example, a patient suffering from flu who continues to have contact with other people at home and at work becomes a constant source of contagion.
Vaccines can create problems, say proponents of “abstention to vaccinate.” This is undoubtedly true; any medical treatment carries a risk, even if it is little. As a result, it is always important to assess the risk / benefit ratio of each of our activities, particularly when it comes to health-care decisions.
Perhaps the real issue is that while causing a complication while administering a vaccine to a healthy subject (ACTIVE choice) appears to be far more serious than dealing with a complication from a disease (PASSIVE choice), the percentage incidence of the second risk is unquestionably higher, so it is always necessary to consider the single case to make a truly conscious choice.
There are some circumstances in which vaccination is contraindicated; as a result, in the event of a doubt, the caregiver should be consulted before vaccination. The caregiver will assess the patient’s health, particularly in the case of children, and will advise whether vaccination should be postponed or avoided.
CONTRAINDICATIONS THAT ARE JUST TEMPORARY
These are temporary conditions that prevent immunization just for the duration of their presence:
- Acute illnesses with high-grade fever
- live virus vaccines (such as MMR and OPV) if another live virus vaccine was given during the preceding 30 days continuing
- Immunosuppressive treatment or high-dose corticosteroid therapy
Contraindications that must be avoided at all costs
Certain vaccinations should be avoided if:
- you have had serious responses to prior vaccines
- you have neurological disorders that are progressing
- You have immune system congenital disorders
- You are allergic to egg proteins (if the vaccine contains any)
- Some antibiotics, such as streptomycin and neomycin, cause you to become allergic (if the vaccine contains any)
To sum up, it is essential to comprehend the reasons behind a decision, avoid taking uncritical views that, especially in the health area, should not be based solely on facts gathered from unreliable sources, and offer us the best and most logical options.
Contraindications that must be avoided at all costs
- The third month refers to the 61st day of life.
- The term “5-6 years” refers to the period between the 5th birthday (5 years and 1 day) and the 6th birthday (6 years and 364 days) (7th birthday)
- The term “12th year” refers to a period of time ranging from 11 years and 1 day (11th birthday) to 11 years and 364 days (12th birthday)
- 11-18 years refers to the period between 11 years and one day (birthday) and 17 years and 364 days (18th birthday)
- After the age of seven, the formulation with anti-diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis acellular adolescent-adult vaccination must be used (dTpa).
- Adults with a questionable immunization history should start or finish the main dT vaccine course. A main course for adults includes two doses of tetanus and diphtheria (dT) vaccination and a third dose of dTpa vaccine. The first two doses should be given at least four weeks apart, and the third dosage should be given six to twelve months following the second. Recalls must be done every 10 years (beginning with the end of the primary series), and at least one of the dT booster doses must be replaced with one dose of dTpa vaccine.
- For children born to HBsAg-positive mothers, administer the first dose of anti-HBV vaccine within the first 12-24 hours of life, along with specific anti-hepatitis B immunoglobulins; the cycle will be completed with a second dose four weeks after the first, a third dose after the eighth week, and a fourth dose between the eleventh and twelfth months.
- In light of continuous epidemic outbreaks, it is thought that, in addition to the recovery of vulnerable subjects in this age range (catch up), active research and vaccination of cohabiting / contact subjects who have not been vaccinated is also necessary (mop up).
- A single dosage in people who were not vaccinated as children, administration at 11-18 years old should be explored.
- Following a 3-dose regimen for the female sex during the 12th year of life. 0, 1, and 6 months for bivalent vaccination (against HPV genotypes 16 and 18); 0, 2, and 6 months for quadrivalent vaccine (against HPV genotypes 6, 11, 16, and 18).
- Two doses, one month apart, should be given to people with an anamnestically negative background who have never been vaccinated.