How Do Vaccines Protect Us From Disease?When children are born they acquire immunity from their mother, but it begins to diminish after the 1st month of life and is completely gone by around 1 year of age. Children then have to depend on their own immune system to fight off illnesses. Our immune system defends against foreign invaders called pathogens that can cause diseases.
Examples of pathogens are bacteria, fungi, and viruses. When we come into contact with a foreign invader, antibodies are formed to protect us the next time we are exposed to the invader.
Vaccines work in much the same way. Vaccines are derived from either a weakened form of a pathogen or portion of the pathogen which has been genetically altered. When a vaccine is administered an immune response similar to that produced by a natural infection results. This response helps to protect vaccinated individuals from contracting many infectious diseases.
Who Should Be Immunized?Some parents might think their children do not need to be immunized because the pathogens of the past do not exist today. However, disease preventable pathogens still do exist and those not immunized are at great risk of becoming ill if exposed. Fortunately, these diseases are not often seen because of effective vaccination programs.
The State of Wisconsin DHS 144 states the required immunization of students. http://docs.legis.wisconsin.gov/code/admin_code/dhs/110/144/ .
Proof of immunization can be provided to the schools with a Student Immunization Record,
The State of Wisconsin maintains an electronic immunization registry (WIR) at https://www.dhswir.org/PR/clientSearch.do?language=en for residents who have received immunizations within the state of Wisconsin.
In addition adults need to be immunized as well. Every year adults become ill, are disabled, and die from vaccine preventable diseases that could have been prevented by vaccination. Immunizing not only protects individuals, but helps to protect the community.
Qualified IndividualsThe Greendale Health Department is no longer be able to vaccinate persons who have insurance that covers the cost of vaccines. The Greendale Health Department will continue to provide vaccinations for children meeting these requirements:
- Those without health insurance
- Those on BadgerCare or other state health insurance
- Those who have health insurance that does not cover the cost of vaccines.
- Native American or Alaskan Native