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Immunization & Vaccines:Types & Information

  • Synopsis: Provides general information and updates regarding vaccines and immunization types and schedules for children and adults.

Definition: Defining the Meaning of Immunization

Immunization, or immunization, is the process by which an individual's immune system becomes fortified against an agent (known as the immunogen). When this system is exposed to molecules that are foreign to the body, called non-self, it will orchestrate an immune response, and it will also develop the ability to quickly respond to a subsequent encounter because of immunological memory. This is a function of the adaptive immune system.

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Immunization, or immunization, is the process by which an individual's immune system becomes fortified against an agent (known as the immunogen). Immunization shots, or vaccinations, are essential. They protect against things like measles, mumps, rubella, hepatitis B, polio, diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis (whooping cough). Immunizations are important for adults as well as for children.

Children need immunizations to protect them from dangerous childhood diseases.

These diseases can have serious complications and even kill children. Children under 5 are especially susceptible to disease because their immune systems have not built up the necessary defenses to fight infection. By immunizing on time (by age 2), you can protect your child from disease and also protect others at school or daycare.

Immunization can be done through various techniques, most commonly vaccination.

Vaccines against microorganisms that cause diseases can prepare the body's immune system, thus helping to fight or prevent an infection. The fact that mutations can cause cancer cells to produce proteins or other molecules that are unknown to the body forms the theoretical basis for therapeutic cancer vaccines. Other molecules can be used for immunization as well, for example in experimental vaccines against nicotine (NicVAX) or the hormone ghrelin (in experiments to create an obesity vaccine).

Passive and active immunization - vaccination is an active form of immunization.

U.S. Student and Schools Immunization Laws:

All fifty states have legislation requiring specified vaccines for students. Although exemptions vary from state to state, all school immunization laws grant exemptions to children for medical reasons. Almost all states, except Mississippi and West Virginia, grant religious exemptions for people who have religious beliefs against immunizations. Twenty states allow philosophical exemptions for those who object to immunizations because of a personal, moral or other beliefs.

In the U.S. The Immunization Action Coalition (IAC) works to increase immunization rates and prevent disease by creating and distributing educational materials for health professionals and the public that enhance the delivery of safe and effective immunization services. IAC also facilitates communication about the safety, efficacy, and use of vaccines within the broad immunization community of patients, parents, healthcare organizations, and government health agencies - www.immunize.org

Serious reactions to vaccines are extremely rare.

The risks of serious disease from not vaccinating are far greater than the risks of serious reaction to a vaccination.

Immunization Awareness Information

U.S. - National Immunization Awareness Month (NIAM) happens each year in August. National Immunization Awareness Month is a great time to promote vaccines and remind family, friends, and coworkers to stay up to date on their shots.

Canada - National Immunization Awareness Week 2015 is from April 25th to May 2nd.

World Immunization Week - Held from 24 - 30th April 2015, will signal a renewed global, regional, and national effort to accelerate action to increase awareness and demand for immunization by communities, and improve vaccination delivery services.

Quick Facts: Vaccine Preventable Diseases

Diseases for which vaccines are available (WHO):

Statistics: Vaccine and Immunization



Latest Immunization and Vaccines Publications

Full List of Immunization and Vaccines Documents (39 Items)




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