Why are Immunizations Important?
Have you heard the old saying, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure?”
This logic applies to immunizations, also known as vaccines. It’s better (and more cost effective) to protect yourself from an infectious disease than to get treatment after you’ve caught it.
Below we’ll go over the main benefits of immunizations with input from Hawthorne pharmacist Charlotte Anderson.
Vaccines are effective
Vaccines are the most effective way to prevent serious infectious diseases.
Thousands of people used to die every year due to illnesses such as pertussis, measles, and polio. Because it’s now standard in many countries for children to be vaccinated against these diseases, they’re no longer a widespread threat. Immunizations protect your children and can potentially prevent severe disabilities and save their life (for example, preventing polio).
“Immunizations that are approved in the U.S. have undergone extensive safety and efficacy testing,” says Charlotte Anderson, PharmD. “Serious side effects are extremely rare, and the benefit of vaccination far outweighs the risk.”
Vaccines aren't just for children. It’s important for adults to pay attention to vaccinations recommended by the CDC, especially as they age.
Anderson says that almost every adult over the age of 50 should get the shingles vaccine, as well as other routine vaccinations including an annual flu shot and Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis) vaccine every 10 years.
Almost every patient over the age of 65 should also get the pneumonia vaccine. There are two pneumonia vaccines available, both of which lower your chance of getting pneumonia by protecting against 13 or more strains of the disease.
If you were to get a vaccine-preventable disease and recover, you would spend a lot of money, time, and energy to receive proper treatment. It’s much easier to protect yourself from getting sick in the first place by being vaccinated.
Get vaccinated to protect vulnerable people in your community
Not everyone can be vaccinated. For instance, those with severe allergies or with weakened immune systems (due to conditions like cancer, HIV/AIDS, Type 1 diabetes) may be medically unable to get certain vaccines. Babies too young to get their vaccines are also vulnerable.
If you are able to receive the recommended vaccines, you should do your part not only to protect yourself, but to protect your family, friends, and others in your community. When enough people are vaccinated against a disease, herd immunity provides protection for those who can’t be vaccinated.
Vaccination can prevent future epidemics
If diseases such as polio and diphtheria are so uncommon in the U.S. today, why can’t we stop vaccinating for them?
The answer is that we’re not just protecting ourselves and our community for now, but in future generations. These diseases are uncommon, but until they are eradicated worldwide, we should not stop vaccinating for them. If we stopped, an epidemic could be just a plane ride away.
We continue to vaccinate against uncommon diseases because we do not want them to become common again in future generations.
Hawthorne can help
"The CDC vaccination schedule can be complicated to interpret, but all of our pharmacists are very familiar with it and can recommend which vaccines you need. Most of these vaccines we can even administer in the store without an appointment!"
—Charlotte Anderson, PharmD for Hawthorne Pharmacy
We offer a range of vaccines at our pharmacy locations.
Ask our pharmacist or your doctor about recommended vaccines based on your age and medical conditions. We can administer immunizations to adults and answer any questions you may have. Call us today and ask to speak to one of our immunization pharmacists!
Prior to coming in for your vaccine, please download and complete our Immunization Consent Form, and bring it with you to the pharmacy.