Vaccination/Vaccines/Immunization what you need to know
Hello lovely members of this awesome community I greet you all and hope you all are doing well? Today is another great and happy day as I'm sharing with us this piece of knowledge which is a bit different from the regular topics which I discuss or share here.
As a public health nurse, I have seen the importance of sensitizing us on what Vaccination, Vaccines and immunization are and also the importance to get them and some notable vaccines that we know about as well as some myths people have that discourage them from getting vaccinated.
Before I go on, I want to seize this opportunity to say that this post is just to enlighten us more on what it entails and it's importance and I encourage every reader to have an open mind while reading even though it's a short one as I will write more about the diseases and vaccines in my subsequent posts.
So let's continue with the topic for today. Inorder to make it easier or simpler for us to understand, I will explain certain terms like immunization, vaccine, Vaccination.
In simple terms vaccines are substances which are biologically prepared, for the sole purpose of administering them to build the immunity against infectious diseases.
A vaccine typically contains an agent that resembles a disease-causing microorganism and is often made from weakened or killed forms of the microbe, its toxins, or one of its surface proteins.
Usually when this vaccines are produced,they usually cannot survive some level of temperature so that is why inorder to maintain their potency after production, they are usually preserved through what we call the cold chain system which usually has a common temperature range of 2 to 8 degrees celsius. In addition,this cold chain is used even for the transportation of the vaccines inorder to keep then active or potent.
I know some persons will be wondering what I mean by potency, it's simply it's effectiveness or ability to fight the or prevent the infection in the individual. It's not just enough going out to get vaccinated, the question is are the vaccines potent?
How then can we know if the vaccine is potent or not? It's simple, this can be identified through the vaccine vial monitor (VVM) which is usually on the body of each of the vaccines especially those preserved through the cold chain system.
From the picture of the VVM, once the color of the white square becomes darkened bit by bit it means it's losing its potency gradually till it completely loses it when the color becomes the same with the purple circle.
This vaccine vial monitor, is a color indicator to show the level of potency of any vaccine through the changing colors. Usually, the darker it becomes its an indication that the vaccine is no longer fit for administration, which is one of the reasons why some individuals even after getting vaccinated, still contact the infection because their body didn't get the immunity against the disease which they would've gotten if it was potent.
This is simply the act of administering the vaccine which is already produced. Vaccination involves various processes both from the transportation, to the administration and the recording . Also, Vaccination is not just for a given set of individuals but for both adults, newborns,children and adolescents.
The process of administering vaccines involves different routes some common ones which are:
• Orally (mouth)
• Intradermally (just under the skin)
• Subcutaneously (into the fatty tissues)
• Intramuscularly etc.
Different vaccines have their route of administration as well as sites of administering them. Least I forget, there is usually time intervals between administration if each vaccines for those with more than one dose of administration.
Having briefly explained what vaccine and vaccination is all about, I will finally talk about IMMUNIZATION.
Usually, some persons usually interchange Vaccination and immunization, but even though they have similar meaning there exist slight difference.
Immunization, or immunisation, is the process by which an individual's immune system becomes fortified against an infectious agent known as the immunogen and this is gotten through the act of Vaccination where the vaccine is administered.
So while immunization is the process of developing immunity against the infection, vaccination is the act of administering the vaccine.
This immunity is usually gotten after the vaccination, by the body responding to the agent contained in the vaccine which makes it develope antibodies which will fight against the infection when it's exposed to it later there by protecting the body. So I would say that vaccines activates the immune system in readiness for any intruder.
There are so many diseases which require Vaccination, like the six killer diseases as well as others which I will discuss well in my subsequent post and I encourage you all to stay tuned.
So having briefly introduced this topic I think I will pause here for now. Thanks for your time and I hope you learnt something from this article. Anticipate the second part of this introductory post to Vaccination.