Vaccines are vital to your health

| August 10, 2017 | 0 Comments

Tripler and its medical clinics provide immunizations to beneficiaries.

Kristi Hayashida
Tripler Army Medical Center Public Affairs
HONOLULU — Today’s society enjoys what generations before could not – the comfort of avoiding the same infectious childhood diseases that past generations feared – thanks in part to vaccinations.

The human body’s immune system can fight a disease faster and better if it’s had the virus before or if it’s been vaccinated.

Vaccines are biologics that mimic the virus they are trying to prevent. Vaccines are manufactured by modifying a disease-producing antigen to stimulate immunity to the intended disease-causing virus or bacteria.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend vaccinations from birth through adulthood to provide a lifetime of protection. Lifelong protection is important because vaccine-preventable illnesses can strike anyone at any age.

The HPV vaccine protects both boys & girls against some kinds of cancer. (Photo courtesy of Centers for Disease Control)

The CDC Foundation recognizes individuals who go above and beyond to promote childhood immunizations within their communities. Janelle Jinbo-Labuguen, a nurse practitioner at Tripler Army Medical Center, received Hawaii’s 2017 CDC Childhood Immunization Champion Award for her dedication in promoting child immunizations in Hawaii.

Jinbo-Labuguen feels strongly that vaccines are one of the most convenient and safest preventative care measures in the United States.

“I was happy that my efforts were making a difference in getting the word out, as it demonstrates the importance of immunizations,” Jinbo-Labuguen said.

The CDC advises people of all ages to continue getting immunizations to prevent an epidemic of diseases that are nearly under control today due to patient education about the importance of immunizations.

According to the World Health Organization, infectious diseases were once the leading causes of death in the early 1900s. Smallpox was one of the most devastating diseases humanity had ever faced. The eradicated virus killed more than 300 million people in the 20th century. Thanks to a global vaccination campaign, the disease was destroyed in 1980.

There is abundant historical evidence that supports immunizations. It’s been a few generations since diseases like the paralysis-causing virus polio affected thousands of children in the United States. Once again, vaccines helped to diminish the infecting virus.

Though vaccinations have led to a radical decrease in infectious diseases in the United States, some of these diseases are still quite common in other countries and can be transported to the United States by international travelers. Individuals without immunizations are at risk of contracting an infectious disease from a traveler on a plane, train or vacation cruise. The danger doesn’t end there, as people can then possibly pass the infectious illness to others.

Vaccines not only protect one’s health, they also help stem the spread of viruses to friends, family members and coworkers.

“In medicine today, we often focus too much on treating the problem versus preventing the causes,” Jinbo-Labuguen said. “Get vaccinated. Help to prevent diseases and cancer.”

Point of Contact
To schedule a vaccination, talk to your primary care manager and call 433-2778.

TAMC Tip: Be Prepared

If disaster strikes your community, you may not have access to food, water or electricity for some time.
By taking time now to prepare emergency water supplies, food supplies and a disaster supplies kit, you can provide for your entire family. And don’t forget to take your pets and service animals into account.
Take a few minutes to answer these questions:
•Do you have an emergency supply kit that includes water, food, medicines and first aid items for all members of your family, including pets?
•Do you have an emergency plan, and do you practice it with your family regularly?
•Do you know where to find the most up-to-date information about emergency conditions in your area?

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Category: Health

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