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The Importance of Immunizations (Vaccines) for Adults

Medically reviewed by Last updated on May 6, 2024.

Why is immunization important?

Immunization helps you become immune (protected) from diseases caused by bacteria or viruses and helps protect others around you. Adults who have a mild form of the disease can pass it to children. The disease may be more serious in children. Without immunization, the only way to become immune is to get the disease. This is dangerous because you can develop medical problems from the disease that may be long-term or difficult to treat. Immunization helps control diseases and prevents them from coming back after they are controlled.

How is immunization done?

Inactivated (killed) or weakened (live) forms of the virus or bacteria may be used. Pieces of protein from a virus may be used to teach your immune system to recognize the virus. Vaccines are usually given as shots or nasal sprays. The vaccine will cause your body to produce antibodies. Antibodies are part of your immune system. Your immune system will recognize the virus or bacteria if you are exposed again. The system will produce the same antibodies to prevent the disease.

Which diseases can be prevented by vaccines?

What do I need to know about immunization?

Treatment options

The following list of medications are related to or used in the treatment of this condition.

What are the risks of immunization?

Vaccines may cause severe allergic reactions in some people. Tell your healthcare provider about all of your allergies. Tell your provider if you have a weakened immune system. You may not be able to get live vaccines if your immune system is weakened. Rarely, vaccines may cause serious injury or death.

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your healthcare providers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.