The COVID-19 pandemic took over the world. The novel virus was so called because of its newness, but its infectiousness and powerful grip spread from nation to nation, crippling communities and deeply complicating everyday life. Despite the horror of rising cases and overwhelmed hospitals, the COVID-19 vaccine proved an effective preventive measure.

If you’ve been vaccinated against COVID-19, you not only reduce your chances of catching the disease, but you nearly eliminate the possibility of severe illness in the event of a breakthrough infection. The COVID vaccine, however, isn’t the only vaccine that should be in your arsenal of protection against preventable disease.

Along with diet and exercise, the friendly family health professionals at Desoto Family Care Clinic in Southaven, Mississippi, are here to help you stay on track with the shots that keep you safe.

Are vaccines safe?

Organizations against life-saving vaccines have gained quite a bit of popularity in much of the industrialized world. However, scientific misunderstanding on the part of the general public has combined with widely available and quickly spread misinformation to create a movement of vaccine hesitancy, commonly called the “Anti-Vaxxers,” or “anti-vax.”

Anti-vax misinformation comes in the form of improperly researched articles, bogus news posts, forums of questionable authority, and most dangerously, word-of-mouth testimony, including memes on social media. With so much incorrect and debunked information circulating, it’s difficult to correct those who have been frightened away from vaccines.

Further, certain groups have what seem to be empathetic reasons for avoiding vaccines — African Americans, for example, may remember the suppressed history of the Tuskegee Experiments, which damaged the bodies of healthy young Black men under the guise of medical research.

Indigenous people live with the legacy of forced sterilization, making a trip to the doctor for a shot a much more daunting task than it could be for members of other groups.

The truth about vaccines is that they are safe for nearly everyone. Certain immuno-suppressed individuals may require special administration, but many are still eligible for most vaccines.

For information on which vaccines you should avoid if you are an immuno-compromised individual, speak to your doctor about what’s best for your body’s unique needs.

Why do I need to keep getting vaccines?

Vaccines are an excellent and important part of a contemporary, healthy society. Communicable illnesses are extremely common in any community, and it’s common for illness to spread through human contact with body parts, body fluids, or the particles ejected from your mouth into the air.

It’s not known, for certain, how long the COVID-19 virus lingers in the air, but face masks effectively aid in the prevention of this type of exposure.

Washing your hands and protecting the vulnerable membranes of your eyes, nose, and mouth are important to stopping the spread. If you need further proof, in 2020, the year of mask mandates, cases of influenza, another known airborne disease, were at an all-time low, making national news.

It’s important to stay on top of your vaccines to reduce your risk of contracting a serious and/or deadly illness. Vaccines, unfortunately, have a limited scope of time during which they’re effective, and after, they require either a booster shot or simply another dose to continue to provide the best possible protection.

Some anti -vax sentiment revolves around the efficacy of vaccines, and allegations that they don’t work every time, in every person. While this point is correct, it ignores the objectively more important fact that, when properly administered by a trained medical professional, vaccines are far more likely to provide effective protection than not to work at all.

Even side effects from vaccines are almost never debilitating, with death being so unusual it only occurs in the most vulnerable patients.

Vaccines have been responsible for eradicating horrendous diseases that were once a commonly accepted part of human mortality. Smallpox, measles, and other “old world” diseases that deeply affected Indigenous communities are no longer a public health threat, thanks to vaccines.

Are my immunizations up to date?

To keep yourself and the people around you as healthy as possible, it’s important to stay on top of your vaccine schedule. For a comprehensive list of the vaccines that you or your loved one need, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has published the vaccine schedule for children and adults.

If you’re behind on your immunizations or have questions regarding vaccinations, call our office at or request an appointment online today.

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