National Immunization Awareness Month: Everything You Should Know About Vaccines

Vaccines have been around for centuries, but many know very little about them.

In light of August being National Immunization Awareness Month, the Rio Grande Valley family medical clinic at Healthy Lifestyles RGV will lay down important facts regarding vaccines.

What Is a Vaccine?

The coronavirus has had wide-reaching impacts on almost all aspects of our lives. Because of this, it’s important for each of us to adjust our habits to stay healthy in these unprecedented circumstances. Before we list tips on how to accomplish your health goals, it’s worth considering what sorts of areas you should prioritize.

How Vaccines Work

Vaccines teach your body to recognize new diseases and stimulate your immune system into fighting them off. After vaccines have helped your body build up an adaptive immune response, you’ll be able to fight off the actual virus if exposed to it.

The Safety of Vaccines

Once created, a trial vaccine goes through years of clinical development and testing until it is licensed and approved by governing bodies, specifically the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Even after its approval, many vaccines continue to undergo ongoing studies where side effects and symptoms are closely monitored.

Possible Side Effects

Most people who receive vaccinations will have little to no side effects at all. Those that do experience side effects, however, deal primarily with minor issues.

Some examples of side effects may include:

• pain, swelling, or redness at the site of injection
• pain in the joints near the site of injection
• feeling of muscle weakness
• fatigue or feeling lethargic
• disturbances to sleep
• fever

You are at a greater risk for these side effects if at the time of vaccination you:

• are currently sick
• have a weakened immune system
• are more susceptible to vaccine reactions

The Effectiveness of Vaccines

The rate of effectiveness differs between each vaccine and no vaccine is 100 percent effective. However, it is important to remember that receiving a vaccine is always much safer than not getting one at all.

Some of the most common efficacy rates for major vaccines include:

• Flu vaccine: 40-60% effective
• Measles vaccine: 98% effective
• mRNA vaccines (COVID-19): 94% effective in those fully vaccinated

Why You Should Consider Getting Vaccinated

1.) Regular vaccinations will keep you healthy.
Skipping vaccines can make you susceptible to contracting diseases like HPV, shingles, hepatitis B, and the flu.

2.) Vaccine-preventable diseases still exist.
Although many of these diseases are not common in the U.S., those who travel abroad are likely to bring viruses back with them.

3.) You can get sick, even if you are young and healthy.
Being young and healthy can decrease your risk for serious complications, but it does not mean you are immune to contracting a virus.

4.) It will not only protect you but also your loved ones.
These diseases put your young ones and older relatives at the most risk. By getting vaccinated, you reduce the chance of passing it onto them.

Where To Go if You Need To Get Tested

At your RGV family medical clinic, we offer TB testing and are in the process of ordering tests for the flu and tetanus. We also have COVID-19 PCR tests as well as Rapid COVID tests.

Shots include Toradol for pain, B12, and Dexamethasone.

COVID-19 Vaccine Availability

If you still haven’t gotten the vaccine and are interested in making an appointment, you can schedule an appointment online or via phone. We offer the Moderna vaccine.

Call or Visit Healthy Lifestyles RGV Medical Clinic With All Your Vaccination Questions or to Schedule Your Vaccination Appointment

If you’re nervous about getting vaccinated, let us ease your worries and address any concerns you may have.

1100 W Sam Houston Blvd. - Pharr, TX 78577
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