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Types, Reasons to Get Them, What to Expect, Associated Risks & More

Key Points

  • The article explains the function of vaccines, which is to stimulate the body's production of antibodies against diseases without causing the disease itself.
  • It provides a list of various vaccines such as influenza, tetanus, polio, and hepatitis, and outlines the recommended vaccines for different age groups and life stages.
  • The article emphasizes the benefits of vaccinations, including the eradication of smallpox and the control of other major diseases.
  • It also discusses the risks associated with vaccinations, reassuring that side effects are rare and usually minor. It advises individuals to consult a physician before getting vaccinated.
  • The article concludes by providing synonyms for vaccinations, including inoculations, immunizations, and boosters.

What are Vaccinations?

Since the day you were born, it’s likely that you have received a number of vaccinations in order to begin school and participate in extracurricular activities. If you don’t know exactly how vaccines work, that’s ok, we’re here to help. When germs, such as bacteria or viruses, invade your body, they begin to attack and multiply, causing an infection. Vaccines work by flooding your system with the same germs that cause these infections, only these germs have been killed or weakened so that they will not make you sick. The vaccine then helps stimulate your body to produce antibodies that will help you develop immunity to the disease without actually having to contract it first.

Types of Vaccinations

  • Influenza, or flu (flu shot)
  • TdapTetanus (lockjaw), diphtheria, and pertussis (whooping cough)
  • Polio (IPV)
  • Pneumococcal (PCV)
  • Rotavirus (RV)
  • Hepatitis A
  • Hepatitis B
  • Chickenpox (Varicella)
  • Measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR)
  • Meningococcal conjugate
  • Human papillomavirus (HPV)
  • Zoster (shingles)

What Ages Should You Get Vaccines?

As you get older and your lifestyle changes, you may be required to obtain certain vaccinations. Here’s a quick list of the types of vaccine that may be suggested for you or a loved one during certain ages and life events:

1. Children

    Routine childhood vaccines include hepatitis B, rotavirus, DTaP (diphtheria, tetanus (lock jaw), pertussis (whooping cough)), Hib (Haemophilus influenza type b), pneumococcal, polio, flu, MMR (measles, mumps, rubella), chickenpox, hepatitis A, meningococcal, and HPV (human papillomavirus).

    2. Adults

    Routine adult vaccines include flu, DTaP (diphtheria, tetanus (lock jaw), pertussis (whooping cough)), human papillomavirus (HPV), shingles, pneumococcal, meningococcal, hepatitis A, and hepatitis B.

    3. Pregnant women

    The most common vaccines strongly encouraged for pregnant women to receive include pertussis – better known as whooping cough, and the flu, as both of these conditions can be life-threatening to newborns.

    4. Travelers

    Depending on the region you’re traveling to or from, you may be required to receive and/or it may be suggested that you receive certain vaccines. Be sure to check with a physician to see which vaccines may be needed for your next trip.

      What are the Benefits of Vaccinations?

      For one, they have helped to completely eradicate smallpox worldwide and are close to eradicating polio. Vaccination has also brought five other major human diseases under control, including whooping cough, measles, diphtheria, tetanus, and yellow fever. However, until a disease is completely eradicated, it is important to keep immunizing, since just a few cases can spread and cause a comeback that would undo years of progress.

      What are the Risks of Vaccinations?

      You may have heard some advocacy groups claiming that vaccines are unsafe; this assertion is largely unsubstantiated. The overwhelming majority of scientific evidence proves that negative side effects are rare and minor. In fact, most individuals who receive vaccinations do not experience anything worse than short-lived redness or itching at the spot of the injection. Still, you should consult your physician before you or a child is vaccinated, since your age, medical history, and other factors may negatively affect the way your body reacts to the vaccine.

      Vaccinations May Also be Known as

      • Inoculations
      • Immunizations
      • Vaccines
      • Shots
      • Boosters
      • Injections

      Frequently asked questions

      • How do vaccines work?

        Vaccines work by stimulating our body to produce antibodies to fight diseases, without actually causing the disease itself.
      • What are some common types of vaccines?

        Some common types of vaccines include those for influenza, tetanus, polio, and hepatitis.
      • Are there specific vaccines recommended for different age groups and life stages?

        Yes, there are specific vaccines recommended for different age groups and life stages, such as children, adults, pregnant women, and travelers.
      • What are the benefits of getting vaccinated?

        Vaccinations have numerous benefits, including the eradication of diseases like smallpox and the control of other major diseases.
      • Are there any risks associated with vaccinations?

        Yes, there can be risks associated with vaccinations, but negative side effects are usually rare and minor.
      • Should I consult a physician before getting a vaccine?

        Yes, it's always a good idea to consult with a physician before getting vaccinated.
      • Are there other terms for vaccinations?

        Yes, other terms for vaccinations include inoculations, immunizations, and boosters.
      • Are vaccines effective in controlling diseases?

        Yes, vaccines have been instrumental in controlling and even eradicating certain major diseases.

      Related Health Concerns


      COVID-19 Vaccine


      Daycare Physical


      Flu Shot

      Hepatitis B


      Human Papillomavirus (HPV)

      Pediatric Infections


      School Physical

      Sexually Transmitted Diseases



      Tetanus Shot (Tdap)

      Travel Shots

      Yellow Fever

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