Immunizations, Vaccinations & Flu ShotsHouston, TX
When it comes to receiving immunizations and vaccinations, people are a bit skeptical or uncertain. We understand some of the hesitations but are here to help clarify the facts on immunizations. We can also address any concerns the patient may have and answer questions. As an urgent care, we strive to offer patients the immunization they need, when they need it.
Immunizations and vaccinations, such as flu shots are essential for preventing the onset of harmful infections. These include influenza, tetanus and hepatitis A and B. Immunizations are completely safe, helping the body fight off and build up an immunity to certain viral and bacterial infections. Otherwise, these conditions can pose a great risk to one’s health.
It is important to stay up to date on all necessary and highly recommended vaccinations. At our urgent care facility, we can ensure that the vaccination is administered safely.
Benefits of Vaccinations
While the body is often able to fight off infections such as influenza without too much difficulty, these infections can still lead to an extreme amount of discomfort and risk to long-term health. Attempting to prevent the sickness with vaccination is an effective way to give the body the help it needs for immunity.
Benefits of our immunizations, vaccinations and flu shots can include:
By providing people with vaccinations, they are able to have a fighting chance against serious conditions and diseases. By visiting us for vaccinations, we can also keep a record to track when a patient may need one again. For instance, the flu shot changes each year. Thus, people will benefit from receiving a shot at least once a year.
Understanding Flu Shots
Since the flu is a common illness that people suffer from on a regular basis, getting a flu shot will help to decrease the chance of contracting the flu. Understanding what the flu is and how vaccinations work can also help the process.
Influenza, more commonly referred to as the flu, is a viral infection that affects the respiratory tract. The flu is commonly confused with a cold even though they are completely separate illnesses and the flu is often more serious.
The main symptoms of the flu can include:
While most cases of the flu are treatable with medication and proper rest, it is best to take precautionary measures to try and keep from contracting the flu in the first place. A flu shot helps to prevent the flu and decrease the chance of contracting it by injecting a small sample of the virus into the body and allowing the body to naturally fight it off.
In most cases, receiving a flu shot does not cause any side effects, although, in some instances, there may be minor flu symptoms such as fatigue and a slight fever that follow. Annual flu shots will provide continued defense against the disease.
While you can get a flu shot at any point throughout the year, it is often beneficial to do so during the fall season. This helps ready the immune system for the cold, winter months when the flu is the most prevalent.
Other Important Vaccinations and Immunizations
Along with receiving a yearly flu shot, there are several other vaccinations that can help to prevent various infections.
These immunizations include:
While there are more vaccinations available and every individual has their own vaccination schedule, the above, along with a flu shot, are important for one’s health. Hepatitis is a fairly serious infection to the liver that can cause extreme fatigue, nausea and stomach pain. Fortunately, both hepatitis A and B are easily prevented by vaccination.
While hepatitis A and B can typically be fought off and a full recovery can be made, it is best to receive a vaccination and prevent their onset altogether.
Additionally, measles, mumps and rubella can be even more of a concern then hepatitis; especially for young children. Subsequently, it is crucial to receive a vaccination for these conditions, referred to as the MMR vaccine, in order to prevent developing them.
Tetanus is also a common vaccination and for good reason. Tetanus is a bacterial infection that can cause painful muscle spasms and lead to death that spreads through contact with a contaminated object. As such, it can happen out of nowhere and be extremely difficult to treat without a vaccination.
How Vaccinations Work
Once the body becomes exposed to a bacteria or virus, the germs begin to multiply and attack the body. White blood cells then fight the infection. It typically takes the body several days to completely fight off the infection. After, the body is able to remember how to do so the next time the infection develops.
A vaccination works by imitating the infection in a smaller amount, which allows the body to effectively fight off the infection and build up an immunity. Since the vaccination is much weaker than getting the infection naturally, the body is able to fight it off without typically generating any symptoms.
Some vaccinations require more than one dose in order to work to its full effect. If we recommend several doses to prevent the same infection, it means the body needs to fight off the vaccinations several times in order to build up an immunity.
Proactive and Preventive Care
Children over the age of six months and under the age of four should be properly vaccinated. Adults over the age of 50 should stay properly vaccinated and ensure they receive their annual flu shot, as they may not be able to fight off influenza as effectively as when they were younger. Another group at high risk of getting an infection are caregivers who work with sick patients routinely.
Also, caregivers who work with patients under the age of four or over the age of 50 need to be sure to receive a yearly flu shot themselves, as well as any other immunizations that they may need. Nursing home residents or individuals who spend an above average amount of time in a hospital should be extra cautious and ensure that they receive their yearly flu vaccination.
Is it a problem if I don’t have a copy of my vaccination record?
While it is important to keep details of any vaccinations you have received over the years, it is not completely necessary. Retaining detailed immunization records is important because tracking down the records elsewhere can be a real challenge. However, you can, in most cases, track down vaccination history by checking with you or your child’s doctor, the state health department and/or your or your child’s schools.
What happens if I am not vaccinated or my child is not vaccinated?
While there is a chance that you may avoid becoming ill without the vaccination, receiving the vaccination greatly reduces the odds of getting sick. There are individuals who argue that vaccinations are dangerous, but there is no evidence to support that.
While they help with prevention do vaccinations help with treatment?
Vaccinations do not help with treatment, meaning that once you are infected and show symptoms of an illness, receiving more of the bacteria or virus from an immunization shot will not be effective. Vaccinations are only administered as a means of preventing the illness from developing in the first place. Thus, we encourage patients to receive immunizations before the illness often presents itself.
What is “The Flu Season?”
The flu season refers to the time of year when it is easier for people to contract the influenza virus, which is typically during the winter months. Although influenza is not caused by cold weather, it does happen to be the most prevalent during the cold months.
Will I get sick from a flu shot?
Flu shots are safe. While there may be small side effects from a flu shot that go away within a day or two, it is extremely rare for anyone to become sick from a flu shot. If you want to discuss the possibility in further depth, be sure to come in for a visit to our urgent care facility.
What vaccinations Require a Booster Shot?
A vaccination may require more than one dosage to work properly, which is referred to as a booster shot. Immunizations that need a booster shot include influenza, tetanus, measles, human papillomavirus, hepatitis and meningococcal.
Visit Us Today
At our urgent care facility, we have the knowledge and resources to provide patients with vaccinations when they need them. Without the proper immunizations, you run the risk of becoming seriously ill due to a viral or bacterial infection. Receiving timely vaccinations can help prevent the onset of suffering from symptoms when confronted with the germs that lead to the infection.
In the event you are unsure about whether you need a certain vaccination or simply want to receive your annual flu shot, consult with us by giving us a call or coming in for a visit. As an urgent care, we will do everything in our power to fit you into our schedule, with or without an appointment.
At Eldridge Urgent Care & Family Medicine, we can provide quick immunizations, vaccinations and flu shots. Visit us at our Houston office today.
- Booster shot
- A term used to describe a shot that is administered after an initial shot is given. A booster shot is used to help support the immune system in the long term.
- Different types of influenza
- A form of treatment for viral infections such as influenza. Since antibiotics do not work with the cold or flu, antiviral medications are the preferred medication for both.
- Different types of influenza
- There are three different types of influenza, which are influenza A, influenza B and influenza C. While each one requires treatments, some are more serious than others.
- A serious infection of the nose and throat that makes it very difficult to breathe. Fortunately, diphtheria is easy to prevent with a vaccination.
- There are three different types of hepatitis (A, B and C), and they are all preventable by a vaccine. Hepatitis can cause severe fatigue, nausea and abdominal pain.
- The ability of the immune system to fight off and resist a particular form of infection. One who is immune to an infection has “built up an immunity” toward that particular bacteria or virus.
- A vaccination or immunization is the injection of a substance into the body, such as influenza, used to help the body build up an immunity to the bacteria or virus.
- Most commonly referred to as the flu, influenza is a viral infection that causes symptoms of runny nose, constant coughing, chills, fatigue and fever. It can be treated with medical assistance.
- A very complicated infection that leads to flu-like symptoms, a fever and a red rash. While serious in young children, measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) are preventable by vaccination.
- A severe bacterial infection that can cause severe pain and muscle spasms. Tetanus is a serious illness, but it is preventable through a vaccination.
- Viral infection
- A virus is a microscopic organism that invades and reproduces inside the body. The act of this invasion is referred to as a viral infection, which often causes illnesses such as influenza or the common cold.
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