Immunizations, the greatest remedy. It is known through various forms of religious teachings that there are cures for everything save one death. Among these remedies, published in scientific literature, are vaccinations. Vaccines are the greatest remedy of all time, in any given community, with the goal of boosting our immune system against a whole range of diseases.


Furthermore, vaccinations fall under a specific category of medicine called primary prevention, which entails intervention before an event has occurred, a vaccine tricks, our body into thinking that it has been infected and initiate a mechanism, allowing the body to develop its own antibodies against that micro organism responsible for the disease.

Storage of memory

This can trigger a cascade of events leading to storage of memory against the disease. This mechanism will allow a person who is being exposed to that similar strain of microorganism in the future to heal from it by fighting it off. Using the memory cells produced by administration of this vaccine and advance. This form of immunity is called active immunity.

Age appropriate vaccines

There are age appropriate vaccines that are and should be administered to achieve immunity early in life, the administration of vaccines begin as early as birth. For instance, a baby can receive a single dose of the hepatitis B vaccine to develop immunity from this potentially harmful disease, followed by two additional doses at approximately one to two months of age, and a minimum of eight weeks, from the time of the second dose. In summary, the schedule of the hepatitis B vaccine falls at 01 to two months, and six months of age.

Adult and elderly

Similarly, there are series of vaccinations to be administered to the adult and elderly communities on a regular basis, or even on an interval basis which I will cover in the next sections to follow. There is published data for recommended immunization schedule for persons of all ages to implement in the primary prevention sector of healthcare. Now let’s take a moment to focus on what happens to an individual who is not due for a vaccination.

How do we protect that individual from becoming sick from disease. The answer herd immunity. When a majority of the population has received immunity through vaccination indirectly that vaccinated community and protecting the non immunized individual by immunizing others, we can protect the non immunized person with a weakened immune system against that disease.

Childhood Vaccines

Most childhood vaccines are divided into age groups including birth, 1 – 2 months, 4 months and 6 months, 12-15 months and 4-6 years.

Diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis

The three microorganisms mentioned above are bacterial illnesses that are potentially harmful and can be safely prevented in the both children and adults through immunization.

Diphtheria is a bacterial illness known to cause infection of the upper airway involving the nose and throat. This can lead to symptoms such as a sore throat, swollen painful glands in the neck, fever and even difficulty breathing.

Tetanus is a fatal bacterial infection caused by a Bacteria found in soil, dust, saliva and manure. When transmitted, it can cause deleterious bodily manifestations including muscle contractions leading to death if the muscles responsible for breathing become involved.

Pertussis is a bacterial infection known to cause a cough that is very characteristic for its sound. The sound of a “whoop,” makes this uncontrollable cough stand out from other variations of cough and is accompanied by other symptoms such as stuff and runny nose as well as problems breathing resulting from coughing.

These three bacterial infections can be prevented by a simple and safe method-via administration of vaccines at the age effective period for each.

See below for the ages at which this 3 in 1 combined immunization is administered as follows.

DTaP vaccine basic administration schedule:

  • 2months
  • 4 months
  • 6 months
  • 15-18 months
  • 4-6 years


Polio is a contagious viral infection caused by poliovirus which spreads through swallowing of any contaminated material and can lead to life threatening symptoms that can cause death and/or disability affecting the nerves in our body. Symptoms include fever, headache, stiffness in the neck and back, body aches, pins and needles sensation in our skin and even paralysis. Paralysis can lead to a person not being able to support breathing on their own or to be able to swallow causing choking on food and saliva. Unfortunately, there has been no cure found for polio leading towards routine vaccination as the greatest remedy for it.

There are two types of polio virus vaccine available worldwide. There is the inactivated polio vaccine called the Salk vaccine given by injection and the live vaccine given by the mouth called Sabin vaccine. In the United States the vaccine of choice is the inactivated polio vaccine. The immunization for polio starts in early life as early as 2 months and the series of 4 vaccine is as follows on a timeline:

  • 2 months
  • 4 months
  • 6-18 months
  • 4-6 years

Pneumonia is an infection of the lungs. It spread by breathing infected mucus or saliva that travels in the air called airborne or respiratory droplets. Droplets occurs due to exhalation, coughing or sneezing by an infected person, exposing other non-infected individuals to them. This leads to pneumonia infection in the person exposed. Both viruses and bacteria are known to cause pneumonia in children and adults. Symptoms include fevers, cough with sputum, chest pain and/or breathing problems. Pneumonia vaccines are an important preventive tool to reduce the rates of pneumonia in the population. Pneumonia vaccine in children is usually given at the following ages:

  • 2 months
  • 4 months
  • 6 months
  • 12-15 months.

The adult receives them at the age of 65. In general, there are two types of vaccines and includes the PCV 13 vaccine as well as the PPSV 23 vaccine. One usually covers 13 different types of bacteria while the other covers 23 different types of bacteria leading to pneumonia. While both may be administered to the younger population, it is usually the 13 valent one that is required to cover the pediatric patient vs both vaccines that are required for the older generation spaced apart by at least 8 weeks.

Hib type b vaccine

Hemophilus influenza type b is a Bacteria that is known to cause children to become sick with infections such as pneumonia, an infection of the lungs or meningitis, an infection of the membranes that encase the brain. It is spread by droplets from an individual that may carry this microorganism in their nose or throat via coughing or sneezing spreading these secretions into the air only to be inhaled by noninfected individuals. Vaccines introduced early in life can help prevent these infections. It is a series of 3 doses and is administered as follows:

  • 2 months
  • 4 months
  • 6 months


Measles is a contagious disease spread by droplets from one person to the next person. A virus that spread by coughing around a noninfected individual and/or spread by touching a contaminated surface can cause symptoms including fevers, red irritated of the eyes, runny nose, cough and rash.

Measles vaccines are administered early in life since this illness is known to affect the target population of preschool and school aged children.

The schedule of vaccines includes:

  • 12-15 months
  • 4-6 years
  • Mumps

Mumps is spread by virus the same way as measles and causes symptoms such as fevers, chills, headache and a swelling of the salivary glands. A more severe presentation of mumps includes neurological symptoms including coma, seizures, headache, stiff neck and stomach pain and nausea and vomiting due to involvement of the pancreas and meninges. The meninges are membranes that our brain is encased in protecting it. Mumps if known to cause inflammation of the meninges resulting in these severe symptoms as already mentioned. The infection spreads to school aged children leading to immunizing with a set of 2 vaccines in early life at:

  • 12-15 months
  • 4-6 years


Rubella is another viral infection that is spreads similarly in a respiratory air droplet fashion from person to person upon coughing the infected secretions into air. Those around the individual inhaling can become infected and from the time of inhalation of this virus this individual can develops sick symptoms including the following:

  • fevers
  • runny nose
  • red colored spots on the roof of the mouth
  • joint aches and pains
  • rash that starts on the face and neck spreading to the chest wall and back

Vaccination series includes a time frame as follows:

  • 12-15 months
  • 4-6 years.


Shingles is a re-eruption of the herpes zoster or the varicella zoster virus in the body. Once a person has been exposed to this virus, it can later emerge as a presentation of rash. The rash is a blistery rash that is painful since the virus lays dormant inside any nerve root inside the body. The patient can experience a rash in the distribution of the nerve as it passes along in the body and can a pain described as burning or tingling. The rash can also present with symptoms such as itching. Though the rash will resolve in roughly a week to ten days, the pain may last longer as long as months to years called postherpetic neuralgia.

There is a vaccination for shingles that is a single dose and is administered at the age of 60 and older.


Meningitis is an infection involving the 3 membranes that encase the brain as well as our spinal cord. When these layers become inflamed by an infection due to various causes including bacterial, fungal and/or viral, then symptoms occur. Symptoms involve fevers, chills, headache, stiffness in neck and back, changes in mental status including confusion, lethargy, nausea, vomiting and irritability. This condition as contagious as it is can be prevented by vaccinating against some strains of certain microorganisms. usually this is a 2 dose series and is administered at:

  • 11-12 years of age
  • 16 years of age

Hemophilus influenza type b is a Bacteria that is known to cause children to become sick with infections such as pneumonia, an infection of the lungs or meningitis, an infection of the membranes that encase the brain. It is spread by droplets from an individual that may carry this microorganism in their nose or throat via coughing or sneezing spreading these secretions into the air only to be inhaled by noninfected individuals. Vaccines introduced early in life can help prevent these infections. It is a series of 3 doses and is administered as follows:

  • 2 months
  • 4 months
  • 6 months


Chicken pox is an illness that occurs by a contagious virus called the varicella zoster vaccine. It is known to cause a very characteristic itchy blistery rash as well as a sore throat, fevers, headaches and feeling tired. The vaccination is available for this viral infection and routinely is known to administered at the ages as follows:

  • 12-15 months of age
  • 4-6 years of age
  • Hepatitis A

Hepatitis A, like hepatitis B, is an infection of the liver caused by a virus and is preventable by vaccination. It does spread from fecal oral route indicating that that poor hand hygiene after using the restroom from an infected person as well as contaminated food or water can infect noninfected person(s). It can result in symptoms such as fevers, stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and feeling tired. It can even cause the whites of the eyes as well as the skin to turn yellow called jaundice.

The vaccine for this condition in preventing it from occurrence is around the ages in children include:

  • 12-23 months of age
  • At least 6 months from the 1st dose
  • Get your vaccines and protect yourself as well as others


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