Vaccines are a hot topic now more than ever. But, beyond covid, what other vaccines have I been given? Eight, or fifteen or forty. Do I have them all? Are my vaccinations still effective? Do I need a booster? All these questions come to mind from time to time and the truth is that many times we don’t have answers and we don’t know how to find them either.
Well, knowing it is very important to stay healthy and with full defenses. In this article we will tell you what vaccines you should have, how long they last, if you need reinforcements, and how you can find out what vaccines you already have with this test.
What is a vaccine?
As InmunizeBC explains, a vaccine is a preparation whose purpose is to prepare the body to create defenses against a specific disease. The method is to stimulate the immune system with small doses of this disease, which is very weakened, so that it creates the necessary antibodies to kill it. Thus, when we get infected in the future, our immune system will recognize this disease and be ready to protect us.
When we are in the placenta, we acquire many of these protections through our mothers, from the umbilical cord. However, these only last a few weeks or a few months. This is why it is necessary to vaccinate us, and it is also why most of our vaccines are given in the first years of life.
Are my vaccinations still effective?
As is already known, vaccines have different periods of duration, each one has a different one, so it is necessary to know the times, the vaccines we have and the reinforcements we need.
There are vaccines that can give lifelong immunity such as hepatitis B or measles. If you took or received these vaccines as a child, you no longer need to take any type of booster. Others, like the tetanus shot, last for many years but need a regular booster to keep you protected. The same goes for whooping cough, whose immunity does not last for life, tetanus and diphtheria, cases in which you need a booster dose to continue being protected.
There are vaccines, such as the flu, that need reinforcement every year, especially in children and older adults. This is because each flu virus is different.
As indicated by the World Health Organization, being informed about the vaccines we have and the boosters that should be taken at certain ages is vital to achieve herd immunity.
How can I know what vaccinations I have?
It is very common that you, or your parents, have lost the vaccination record. That they don’t remember which vaccines they gave you or which ones were given during your childhood. In addition, since then new vaccines have been released and the reinforcement of some others.
But this is not a problem, there are now tests that measure your antibody levels to determine if you are still protected if you need a booster or if you never got the vaccine. This test gives you this information about the following diseases.
- Whooping cough
- Herpes zoster.
The sample collection is very simple, you only need a blood sample, and you can buy it right here.