In the aftermath of the global COVID-19 pandemic that quite literally brought the world to a halt, we can safely say that health is crucial, not only for ourselves but also for the family, peers, and communities around us. Our bodies are what keep us functional, and when they are compromised it becomes much more difficult to continue to function normally. When a disease of any kind attacks our bodies, it causes discomfort and pain, prevents us from going about our day to day routines, and even compromises the health of the people around us. In many cases, these diseases can even be fatal.
Because of these, modern medicine has evolved and developed ways to combat the emergence and spread of these diseases among patients. At the end of the day, it really is much easier to prevent contracting an illness than it is to cure it, and the prevention eliminates the risk of any further complications and community spread of illnesses. This is why vaccines are so crucial in maintaining not only our personal health but also the overall health of our community. Read on to learn more about vaccination, its various and important types, and where to get it in the Philippines.
What Is Vaccination?
Vaccination is a process wherein part of an offending substance is introduced into a patient’s body in order to elicit protection from specific diseases. To understand how vaccines work, it is important to define some terms:
- Pathogens – A pathogen is an organism that enters the body system and causes diseases. Different pathogens cause different illnesses, and a pathogen can cause anything from a common cold to highly dangerous and potentially fatal diseases. Some common pathogens include worms, viruses, bacteria, and other microorganisms.
- Antigens – Antigens are found on the outer surface of pathogens. These proteins cover both viruses and bacteria and they signal the immune system of a foreign and potentially dangerous substance. The antigen coating around pathogens is what the body recognizes during natural infection.
- Antibodies – Antibodies are protective proteins in the blood that combat antigens. They are produced in response to viruses, bacteria, and other substances in the blood that the body recognizes as foreign.
The purpose of introducing a vaccine into a patient’s system is to simulate an infection on a smaller scale without inciting any real illness. This simulation conditions the body to recognize and react to the specific antigen and to build an immunity against it in the future. This happens when the vaccine prompts the body to trigger an immune response to the substance, causing it to produce antibodies that will recognize and fight future infection from the specific pathogen. This conditioning is called immune memory, which significantly reduces a patient’s risk against diseases that they have been vaccinated against.
Vaccines can be developed from a number of different sources such as a synthetic substitute for the pathogen, a weakened or neutralized strain of the bacteria or virus, or a protein sourced from the pathogen. They are carefully developed, distributed, and administered, so when vaccines are made available for diseases you might be at risk of, it is always a good idea to discuss with a health professional on the best way to receive them. Our doctors are well trained and fully equipped to provide you with the guidance and consultation you might need.
When Do You Need Vaccination?
Different vaccines are required for different patients, at different stages in their lives. Below are some of the most common vaccines and the age it is recommended to get them:
- Flu (influenza) vaccine – To prevent the flu, the CDC recommends annual flu vaccination for everyone ages 6 months or older. Adults age 50 and older should not get the nasal spray flu vaccine. The flu can cause serious complications in older adults. The flu vaccine is recommended annually for patients aged 6 months or older. Because the flu can lead to some more severe complications especially in older adults, it is one of the most highly recommended vaccines to receive.
- Pneumococcal vaccine – Pneumococcal vaccines are recommended for patients aged 65 and older. It is also recommended for younger adults who may be at risk for pneumococcal disease. This vaccine regulates the risk of infections such as meningitis, bloodstream infections, and pneumonia.
- Chicken Pox (Varicella) – It is recommended that children receive two doses of the chickenpox vaccine– once at 12 to 15 months and a second dose at 4-6 years old. While complications from chickenpox are rare, they include serious conditions such as bleeding problems and pneumonia. Chickenpox is also very contagious, so it is recommended that children get vaccinated at the proper time to prevent health hazards for their peers and family.
- COVID-19 vaccine – The COVID 19 vaccine is recommended for patients 6 months and older. Since it was released in the Philippines, vaccine registration has covered 65.9% of the population. Apart from the vaccine’s health implications and contributions to the country’s overall recovery from the pandemic, many establishments also now require a vaccination certificate before patrons are allowed to enter.
Vaccines can be a valuable instrument to prevent contracting diseases that can lead to dangerous and potentially fatal health complications in the future. To learn how to consult with an expert health professional about the vaccines most relevant to you, click here and read our FAQs.
Importance of Vaccination in the Philippines
As a developing nation, it was crucial that the Philippines had a system in place to protect citizens from illnesses. To combat the spread of diseases in the Philippines, the Philippine government collaborated with the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) to launch the National Immunization Program. The program aimed to reduce the effects of vaccine preventable diseases (VPDs) on the Filipino population, especially among children and infants. Since its launch in 1976, the program has since expanded its priority groups to pregnant women and senior citizens who may also be vulnerable to these vaccine preventable diseases. The program has made vaccination accessible to millions of Filipinos, helping build herd immunity in communities nationwide.
Apart from government initiated vaccination programs, vaccinations for Philippines citizens can also come from private health providers. Filipinos can approach their doctors to consult about immunization, as well as the setup options they have to receive vaccines.
Benefits of Vaccination At Home
Depending on the vaccine, there may be options to receive immunization from the comfort of your own home. All you have to do is reach out to your preferred health provider to ask about whether or not this may be available for you. This means you and your family no longer have to wait in long lines at clinics and vaccination centers, among other advantages. Some of the benefits of vaccination at home are:
- Safety – Staying away from public places that may have potential pathogens is an advantage that home vaccination has over other options. Because you are receiving vaccines from the safety of your own home, you no longer have to worry about crowded spaces and potentially contracting illnesses from those around you.
- Protection – Home vaccination allows you to enjoy the same caliber of protection as vaccination in clinics and vaccination centers, boosting your family’s immunity against preventable but potentially dangerous diseases.
- Peace of Mind – An immune household is a safe household, and knowing that your risk of bringing home sickness to your loved ones is a valuable and worthwhile endeavor.
Vaccination at home can be quick, convenient, and easily accessible. To find out more about how to get immunization from your own home, click here to find out how EVA works.
How can EVA Teleconsult help you with your vaccination?
EVA Teleconsult can help with a wide variety of health concerns, as well as guide you with options on how to prevent them. Through EVA, you will receive the guidance you need to get the proper immunization for you and your loved ones, whatever stage in life they might be. That’s because at EVA Teleconsult, our patients can always expect:
- Same-day and on-time appointments – No more awkward waiting outside a doctor’s office. We know your time is valuable to you, so we start on time, whenever you book your appointment, even if you book on the same day.
- 30 minutes of consultation – Our doctors explain your condition completely and thoroughly to your satisfaction, and give you all the time you need to ask questions and voice any concerns you may have.
- Five-star rated doctors – We speak your language and explain things in a way you can understand. No wonder so many of our patients leave our doctors glowing reviews!
Take the first step in giving yourself and your family the peace and protection you deserve and contact us today.