What are Vaccinations?
At ConvenientMD, we treat a wide variety of illnesses and injuries on any given day at our clinics in New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Maine. We believe, however, that the best way to keep certain illness at bay is to focus on prevention with vaccinations. This is why we’re proud to offer common immunizations at all of our locations without ever needing to even make an appointment.
What are Vaccinations Used for?
Also referred to interchangeably as immunizations, vaccinations help protect against various types of diseases and infections. They work by introducing a small amount of a given disease (typically a weakened or inactive strain) to the body, at which time the immune system begins to create antibodies that fight against and eventually kill the disease. Because the immune system “learns” from this event, the body can effectively fight off stronger versions of the same disease should infection occur at some point.
Vaccinations not only help to keep people who receive them healthy, but are crucial to preventing epidemics across the global population. Because vaccinations have become commonplace, worldwide mortality rates associated with a number of illnesses have fallen drastically since widespread adoption.
Who Needs Vaccinations?
Due to age, specific health conditions and other factors, some people may be advised to avoid certain vaccinations. Vaccinations can start as early as shortly after birth with many different pediatric vaccinations given according to a recommended schedule. Some vaccinations are given on an annual basis(such as that for influenza) and are recommended for everyone over six months of age. There are also other specific immunizations recommended for those who are traveling overseas to certain areas, where vaccine-preventable diseases are present and can be fatal.
Immunizations offered at ConvenientMD:
- Hepatitis A: The Hepatitis A vaccine is used to prevent patients from developing a serious liver disease caused by the hepatitis A virus (HAV). It is typically given in two doses that are administered six months apart from one another. The United States has recommended the Hepatitis A vaccine since 1996, and children are typically vaccinated between their first and second birthdays.
- Hepatitis B (series of 3): The 3-shot Hepatitis B vaccine is a safe and effective way to prevent contracting the Hepatitis B virus for patients who do not currently have an active infection or have not been infected by the virus in the past. Each shot is given at different intervals, with the third shot typically given six months from the date of the initial vaccination. Patients must complete the series for long-term protection from Hepatitis B.
- Influenza: Commonly referred to as a “flu shot,” the influenza vaccine protects against infection from influenza viruses. New versions are developed twice annually to reflect the rapid changes and mutations characteristic of the influenza virus. Contrary to popular belief, it is not possible to get the flu from receiving an influenza vaccination—the vaccine contains dead viruses that are incapable of causing infection.
- Tetanus: Also sometimes referred to as tetanus toxoid (TT), the tetanus vaccine is usually first administered during childhood over the course of five doses, with a sixth dose given during adolescence. Further doses are recommended every 10 years and may be ordered for those who have sustained high-risk injuries and are not fully vaccinated.
- TB Skin Test (1-Step & 2-Step): TB skin tests utilize tuberculin injections to screen for tuberculosis infection in patients. Since the body’s immune system sometimes loses the ability to respond to tuberculin injections during active infections, misinterpretation of initial readings is possible. A two-step TB skin test is often ordered to ensure against inaccurate results and is common among health care workers.
- Td (Tetanus/Diphtheria: A Td vaccine is typically ordered to protect adolescents and adults from both tetanus and diphtheria—two very serious diseases that, while rare, can be associated with serious complications. Td booster shots are typically given every 10 years, although one may be recommended in the case of a severe injury or burn.
- Tdap (Tetanus, Diphtheria, Pertussis): In addition to the tetanus and diphtheria vaccine (Td), a Tdap also protects against pertussis—commonly referred to as “whooping cough.” Since the pertussis components of a Tdap are contraindicated for certain patients, a Td may be ordered in its place. As with Td vaccines, a Tdap dose is recommended every 10 years.
- MMR (Measles, Mumps, Rubella): The MMR vaccine protects against measles, mumps, and rubella. Aa mixture of live, attenuated viruses of these three diseases, the MMR vaccine is administered via injection and typically given over two doses—the first at 12-15 months of age, and the second at ages 4-6. It is recommended that adults without any evidence of immunity get one dose of the MMR vaccine.
- Varicella (Chickenpox): The varicella vaccine for chickenpox is given by injection to children between the ages of 12 and 15 months. They typically receive a booster shot for further protection between the ages of four and six years old. Individuals older than six and younger than 13 who haven’t had chickenpox may also receive the vaccine, in which case the two doses are given at least 3 months apart from one another.
Vaccinations: What to Expect
Vaccinations are given in shot-form and do not typically require any advanced preparation before an appointment. Be sure to discuss with your treating provider your medical history and any allergies you may have, as well as instances in which you’ve experienced side effects from past vaccinations. Most people do not experience side effects after getting vaccinated aside from mild discomfort at the site of the injection.
Vaccines not only have been scientifically proven to be safe for the pediatric population, they also have been shown to save lives through preventing life-threatening diseases and certain cancers. The American Academy of Pediatrics strongly recommends all children be vaccinated according to the immunization schedule and emphasizes the safety of vaccines.
Visit any ConvenientMD location in New Hampshire, Maine or Massachusetts for Vaccinations Today!
The importance of immunization should not go overlooked and affects both parents and their children. At ConvenientMD, we offer a wide range of vaccinations right on site at all of our clinics. If you have any questions or concerns, our team of knowledgeable and experienced treating providers will happily discuss them with you and help set your mind at ease.
Visit ConvenientMD today for vaccinations—just walk right into any of our locations without ever needing an appointment!