Immunization, vaccination, and inoculation are all interrelated terms that refer to treatments that are designed to strengthen a person’s immune system against a certain foreign invader. For example, having an annual flu vaccine helps to protect your body against the influenza virus.
These treatments are some of the most important parts of preventive medicine, and they are included in the services that your primary care doctor offers. Doctors generally set their patients’ immunization schedules as per the recommendations provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which are based on the guidance of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP). (This committee comprises medical experts who assess and interpret the efficacy of various medications in people based on their age, gender, and – for women – pregnancy status.)
Let’s talk about how medical practitioners often differentiate vaccinations from immunizations, and where you can go here in Greater Fort Worth to receive the vaccine and other protection you need to stay safe and healthy.
What Is a Vaccination?
Vaccination is the actual treatment method whereby a person can become immune (temporarily or permanently) to an infection or disease. The purpose of a vaccine is to introduce weakened, dead, or inactive parts of a particular germ into the patient’s body in order to stimulate the body’s immune response and create antibodies against that germ.
The role of antibodies is to bind to a pathogen and render it useless. Thanks to the vaccine, the body has a “memory” of the pathogen – so the next time you are exposed to it (if ever), the body will be able to fight it off without making you sick.
Polio, chickenpox, the flu, hepatitis A, hepatitis B, measles, and mumps are just some of the serious infectious diseases that are used to kill millions of people nationwide. But thanks to vaccines, these diseases are no longer prevalent in the U.S.
What Is an Immunization?
Technically, immunization is the result of getting a vaccination. You can also develop a natural immunity if you are otherwise exposed to a pathogen.
If you are immunized against a certain pathogen, then your body is resistant to or protected against that specific disease. In other words, your body will naturally fight it off if the pathogen tries to invade your system.
When a person is immunized, it usually refers to the act of receiving a vaccine, and their antibodies are then able to launch an attack against a specific pathogen. If you are immunized and then you are exposed to that germ, you may either not experience symptoms at all or you may have mild symptoms.
Duration of immunity may vary in the various types of vaccines. If a vaccine loses its efficacy, there are often booster shots that your doctor will recommend if necessary.
Immunizations and Vaccinations in Greater Fort Worth, TX
Immunizations and vaccinations can help protect you and your loved ones. To find out which vaccinations you or your child should be receiving, check with your primary care provider or your local immunizations center in Fort Worth.
Here at EMC Express Care in North Richland Hills, we administer immunizations and vaccinations to patients of all ages. Among the many vaccines we provide are those for influenza (flu), hepatitis A, hepatitis B, MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella), and varicella (chickenpox).
We are a walk-in clinic, so there is no need to make an appointment. If you have any questions or would like to schedule your vaccination, please call our North Richmond Hills clinic now at (817) 503-8800. We look forward to being your partner in disease protection!