Baptist Health Lexington: The Importance of Vaccines
Internist and pediatrician Amanda Foxx, MD, explains vaccine safety and the role of immunizations in preventing outbreaks of diseases such as influenza, measles and whooping cough.
The Importance of Vaccines Health Talks Transcript
Amanda Foxx, MD, Internal Medicine and Pediatrics, Family Practice Associates of Lexington
A vaccine is typically an injection that increases your immune system’s ability to fight a disease. It makes your immune system remember something so that if it sees it again, it can fight it. Most of the vaccines that we give are actually dead viruses. They are not going to give you the virus. They are very safe. We have done study after study on thousands of children to adults to be able to have these approved for the FDA. There are lots of different types of vaccines for all different ages, from birth all the way up until age 65 and then kind of periodically recurring things like flu shots, and we want to get them done right when we recommend them because we want to give as much prevention as we can. Having an annual regular checkup is one of the most important things to be able to have your preventative care up to date, and immunizations or vaccines are part of that regular checkup. We want to think about herd immunity, even within your house. We don’t want things spreading. We think of the flu. We have flu epidemics every winter. We just don’t want things that are more serious that we don’t have treatments for that would spread rapidly and cause illness all over the country. You don’t want to be a person with a suppressed immune system if we had a measles outbreak or if we have the whooping cough outbreak, for example, and you also don’t want to be patient zero, the person who started it all over the country.