Importance of Immunizations - Adventist HealthCare

Importance of Immunizations

Topic Overview

An overwhelming majority of health professionals, medical researchers, and professional medical organizations (such as the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Academy of Family Practice Physicians) recommend immunization. Getting immunized is important for at least two reasons: to protect yourself and to protect those around you. Vaccines are the best way we have to prevent infectious disease. A successful immunization program depends on the cooperation of every person.

  • Vaccinations prevent you or your child from getting diseases for which there are often no medical treatments. These illnesses can result in serious complications and even death.
  • A small number of people may be susceptible to diseases, such as those with impaired immune systems. These people may not be able to get vaccinations or may not develop immunity even after having been vaccinated. Their only protection against certain diseases is for others to get vaccinated so the illnesses are less common.
  • Getting immunized costs less than getting treated for the diseases that the shots protect you from.
  • If exposure to a disease occurs in a community, there is little to no risk of an epidemic if people have been immunized.

Improved sanitation, hygiene, and other living conditions have created a generally healthier environment and reduced the risks for disease exposure and infection in the United States. But the dramatic and long-term decrease of diseases is primarily a result of widespread immunizations throughout the U.S. population.

Even though some diseases, such as polio, rarely affect people in the U.S., all of the recommended childhood immunizations and booster vaccines are still needed. These diseases still exist in other countries. Travelers can unknowingly bring these diseases into the U.S. and infect people who have not been immunized. Without the protection from immunizations, these diseases could be imported and could quickly spread through the population, causing epidemics. Nonimmunized people living in healthy conditions are not protected from disease. Your body's immune system can fight a disease better and faster if you have had the infection before or if you get immunized.

Related Information

Credits

Current as ofJune 17, 2018

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review: John Pope, MD, MPH - Pediatrics
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine

Disclaimer: The information contained in this website, and its associated websites, is provided as a benefit to the local community, and the Internet community in general; it does not constitute medical advice. We try to provide quality information, but we make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to this website and its associated sites. As medical advice must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each patient and healthcare is constantly changing, nothing provided herein should be used as a substitute for the advice of a competent physician. Furthermore, in providing this service, Adventist HealthCare does not condone or support all of the content covered in this site. As an Adventist health care organization, Adventist HealthCare acts in accordance with the ethical and religious directives for Adventist health care services.

Find a Doctor

Find an Adventist HealthCare affiliated doctor by calling our FREE physician referral service at 800-642-0101 or by searching our online physician directory.

View Doctors

Set Your Location

Setting your location helps us to show you nearby providers and locations based on your healthcare needs.