Vaccines and You

Vaccines work like insurance plans. They may take time to take effect and some may last for a limited period only, but some may protect you for a lifetime. Just as you sometimes  need to renew your insurance plans, you may also need to do the same for vaccines. This renewal of the effectiveness of a vaccine is called a booster shot. There may be some loopholes, but it’s definitely better to be insured than not at all, and it’s better to be vaccinated than not.

1. Vaccines may take some time to work.

It usually takes a few weeks after immunisation for vaccines to work. This means that protection from an infection will not occur immediately after vaccination.

2. Different vaccines, different number of doses.

Some vaccines need to be given in several doses for optimal protection, whereas one dose is all that is needed for other vaccines. When it comes to multiple-dose vaccines, make sure to receive all the recommended doses so that you are fully protected.

3. Different vaccines provide protection for different time frames. 

This is a result of the different ways vaccines are made. Certain vaccines may confer lifetime immunity. Generally, live attenuated vaccines confer longer immunity. Then there are vaccines that require periodic boosters for continued protection (eg. every 10 years).

The influenza virus is unique in that you are recommended to get vaccinated every year, due to the fact that the virus itself is constantly changing. Talk to your doctor for more information.

4. Different people respond differently to vaccines.

Different people respond differently to vaccines, and it is possible that some people may not generate an adequate immune response to a particular vaccine. As a result, these individuals may not be effectively protected after