Baptist Health Louisville: Preventing Infectious Disease
Doctor ANNA HART, MD discusses the importance of vaccines, describing how they work to prevent sickness and even death from illnesses such as influenza and pneumonia.
Preventing Infectious Disease Health Talks Transcript
Anna B. Hart, MD, Infectious Disease:
A vaccine is a substance that stimulates your immune system to produce antibodies against a specific disease. Once a person is vaccinated, your body generates immunity to that disease without you having to get the disease in the first place. Vaccines are extremely important. They prevent sickness and death from vaccine-preventable illnesses. They also decrease your chance of spreading infectious disease. Everybody six months of age or older should get the influenza vaccine. Older adults or individuals who have underlying health conditions are at a severe risk for developing complications with influenza, including death. The influenza vaccine not only reduces your risk of getting affected, it also decreases the severity of illness in those who are already infected. The influenza vaccine is an annual vaccine and should be given during the fall and winter, during flu season. Baptist Health outpatient clinics will offer the most common vaccines and, if you’re an inpatient in the hospital, we will also offer the influenza and pneumonia or pneumococcal vaccine. Most medicines cure or treat disease. Vaccines prevent diseases, and they are the single most safe and efficient ways of preventing infectious disease that are currently available to us.