Value of Vaccines (May 2020)

Southall Medical Centre regularly engages with awareness days and campaigns throughout the year to encourage good health promotion among our patients.

The campaign we are celebrating this month is:

Value of Vaccines (May 2020)

(Noticeboard in patient waiting area)

 

1. What are we doing at Southall Medical Centre?

Over this month of May, we will be advertising through our patient waiting room TV screens, patient noticeboards and through our website about the importance of having vaccines throughout your life.

We will be in contact with patients due for routine immunisations to help improve our uptake rate. We will also be offering support and information to patients who are unsure whether to have a vaccine to help them make informed decisions.

 

2. Why are vaccinations so important?

Vaccination is the most important thing we can do to protect ourselves and our children against ill health. They prevent up to 3 million deaths worldwide every year.

Since vaccines were introduced in the UK, diseases like smallpox, polio and tetanus that used to kill or disable millions of people are either gone or seen very rarely. Other diseases like measles and diphtheria have been reduced by up to 99.9% since their vaccines were introduced.

However, if people stop having vaccines, it’s possible for infectious diseases to quickly spread again. The World Health Organization (WHO) recently listed vaccine hesitancy as one of their top 10 biggest threats to global health.

Vaccine hesitancy is where people with access to vaccines delay or refuse vaccination.

 

3. Things you need to know about vaccines:

Vaccines do:

  • protect you and your child from many serious and potentially deadly diseases
  • protect other people in your community – by helping to stop diseases spreading to people who cannot have vaccines
  • get safety tested for years before being introduced – they’re also monitored for any side effects
  • sometimes cause mild side effects that will not last long – some children may feel a bit unwell and have a sore arm for 2 or 3 days
  • reduce or even get rid of some diseases – if enough people are vaccinated

Vaccines don’t:

  • do not cause autism – studies have found no evidence of a link between the MMR vaccine and autism
  • do not overload or weaken the immune system – it’s safe to give children several vaccines at a time and this reduces the amount of injections they need
  • do not cause allergies or any other conditions – all the current evidence tells us that vaccinating is safer than not vaccinating
  • do not contain mercury (thiomersal)
  • do not contain any ingredients that cause harm in such small amounts – but speak to your doctor if you have any known allergies such as eggs or gelatine

 

4. How do vaccines work?

Vaccines teach your immune system how to create antibodies that protect you from diseases. It’s much safer for your immune system to learn this through vaccination than by catching the diseases and treating them. Once your immune system knows how to fight a disease, it can often protect you for many years.

Having a vaccine also benefits your whole community through “herd immunity”. If enough people are vaccinated, it’s harder for the disease to spread to those people who cannot have vaccines. For example, people who are ill or have a weakened immune system.

 

5. When should I have certain vaccines?

The NHS has published a document called “the complete routine immunisation schedule” which indicates when to have recommended vaccines. You can find this on the link below:

 

6. Useful websites and further information

We are here to support our patients with any questions they may have regarding vaccines. However, you can also find more information on the links below: