All Your Questions Answered: Everything You Need To Know About Immunisation
Have you been considering vaccination? Maybe you’ve heard about the benefits and the risks. But, what do we really know about vaccination? Here at Shire Doctors and Dentists, we’ve got you covered. This article will give you a detailed guide to vaccination so that you can make an informed decision.
What is vaccination?
Vaccination is the process of protecting someone from a disease by giving them a vaccine. A vaccine contains a small amount of either dead or weakened viruses, bacteria, or other organisms that cause infection. When you are vaccinated, your body produces immunity to that virus, bacteria, or organism. If you are ever exposed to the disease, your body is primed and ready to fight it off because of your vaccination.
How does vaccination work?
When you are vaccinated, the vaccine enters your body. From there, it will spread to different parts of your body. The viruses in the vaccine will try to infect cells in these areas. However, since they are weak or dead, they will not be able to cause an infection. Instead, your body’s immune system will recognize the virus and produce immunity against it.
What are the benefits of getting vaccinated?
Herd Immunity: One of the reasons immunisations are so vital is because they protect not only the person who receives them but also other members of the community. For example, in countries with high vaccination rates such as Australia, the vaccines have proven to be effective at slowing down the spread of COVID-19, preventing hospitalisation and lowering rates of death. So clearly, immunisations are one of the most effective ways to prevent disease and protect public health.
Prevents deadly diseases: Another reason immunisations are so important is that they can help to prevent outbreaks of deadly diseases. For example, immunisation protection against the human papillomavirus can protect individuals from contracting harmful cancers, infections and long-term complications, resulting from the virus.
Cost-effective: Immunisation programs are one of the most cost-effective ways of preventing disease and promoting public health. The cost of immunising each person is much lower than the cost of treating someone who becomes ill with a preventable disease. In some cases, immunisations can even be provided free of charge. In Australia, the COVID-19 vaccines are free of charge, including both double dose vaccinations and the booster shot.
How effective is vaccination?
The effectiveness of vaccination can vary depending on the disease in question and the vaccine itself. However, vaccination is one of the most effective ways to prevent disease.
Do vaccinations cause autism or other diseases?
There is no scientific evidence that vaccination causes autism or any other disease. The myth that vaccination causes autism started with a study that was later found to be fraudulent. This study was retracted by the journal that published it. However, the myth persists.
Does vaccination have any side effects or adverse reactions?
Yes, vaccination can have side effects or adverse reactions. However, these are usually mild and short-lived. The most common side effect is soreness at the injection site. Other potential side effects include fever, headache, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and muscle aches. Rarely, vaccination can cause more serious side effects such as seizures or anaphylactic shock. However, these are very rare.
If I get vaccinated, am I protected forever from the disease in question?
No, you are not protected forever from the disease in question. However, getting vaccinated reduces your risk of getting the disease. For some diseases, you may need to get vaccinated again after a certain amount of time has passed. For example, it is currently recommended that you get a booster shot for COVID-19, at least four months after the two doses of the vaccine has been administered.
Contact Shire Doctors And Dentists To Find Out More
Immunisations are one of the most important tools we have to protect public health. They are safe, effective and affordable, and they save lives. If you would like to find out more about immunisations or how to get vaccinated, please contact Shire Doctors and Dentists today!
Shire Doctors and Dentists aim to reduce the number of vaccine-preventable diseases in the community by offering immunisations that follow the latest NSW Immunisation Schedule which falls under the National Immunisation Program.
Our clinic encourages all children to be fully immunised, as the Health Department requires schools to be shown a record of completed immunisations before a child undertakes formal education.
All childhood immunisations are bulk billed, and if you are having any concerns about these childhood vaccines, please discuss them with your trusted GP.
Our vaccines are stored at our practice in a special purpose vaccine refrigerator. To see the comprehensive NSW immunisation schedule (July 2020), please visit this link.
The NSW Immunisation Schedule recommends children are vaccinated at the following ages for protection against these diseases:
Unsure Of Your Child’s Vaccination Status?
Timely vaccination is one of the best ways to keep yourself and your loved ones protected from preventable diseases and infections. Make an appointment with your doctor and make sure your child’s immunisations are up to date. If you are uncertain of your child’s vaccination status, speak to your GP or immunisation provider.
At-Risk, Adolescent and Adult Vaccinations
Even if you have been immunised as a child, this does not guarantee protection in your adult years. Adult vaccinations are vital to inhibiting the transmission of serious and preventable diseases.
The NSW Immunisation Schedule recommends at-risk, teenagers, and adults to receive vaccinations for protection against diseases including:
People with Asplenia, Hyposplenia, complement deficiency and treatment with Eculizumab
>5 years with Asplenia or Hyposplenia
Aboriginal people ≥50 years
The annual influenza vaccination, or “flu shot”, is highly recommended for all Australians, but particularly advised for higher risk groups and ages including:
- All children – 6 months <5 years
- Aboriginal people ≥ 6 months
- People with at-risk conditions ≥6 months
- ≥65 years
- Pregnant women
For immunisation vaccine brands and eligibility, please see this website.
Shire Doctors and Dentists is offering the Pfizer and Spikevax (Moderna) vaccines.
COMIRNATY Covid Vaccine (Pfizer)
At Shire Doctors and Dentists, we offer COMIRNATY (Pfizer) vaccine to all individuals aged 5 years and older.
To be fully vaccinated, the eligible people need to receive two doses of the same vaccine.
Mixed vaccines in the primary course of vaccination are not recommended unless you have experienced a severe reaction from the first dose.
At Shire Doctors and Dentists we offer first, second and third doses of Pfizer (COMIRNARY) vaccines.
Moderna Vaccine (Spikevax)
You need 2 doses of the Moderna vaccine, given at least 4 weeks apart.
The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) has approved the booster (third dose) of the COMIRNATY (Pfizer) and Moderna (Spikevax) covid vaccine. It is recommended for all individuals aged 16 years and older who completed their primary course of vaccination at least three months ago.
- If you are 16 or 17 (or have turned 16 since you had your primary dose of COVID-19 vaccine) you can have the Pfizer vaccine as a booster dose.
- If you are 18 years or older, you can have the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine as a booster dose regardless of which vaccine you had for your first 2 doses.
The approval for the booster dose is provisional and the third dose is not mandatory. The third dose helps this group of people to achieve the same level of immunity as the general population. An mRNA vaccine (Pfizer or Moderna) is preferred to Vaxzevria (AstraZeneca) for this third dose. Read more about third doses of the vaccine.
Additional winter booster dose
From July 2022, you are recommended to have an additional winter COVID-19 vaccine (second booster / fourth dose) if you are:
- aged 50 years or over
- a resident of an aged care or disability care facility
- aged 16 years and over and severely immunocompromised.
- aged 16 years and over years and have complex, chronic or severe conditions
- People aged 30 years and over are also eligible to receive an additional winter booster if they want to.
You can get your winter COVID-19 vaccination 3 months after your first booster dose. If you get COVID-19 before your winter booster dose, wait 3 months after infection to receive it.
The COVID-19 and flu vaccines can be given at the same time. Many people who are eligible for an additional winter COVID-19 booster will also be eligible for a free flu vaccine, available in mid-late April 2022.
I’m Interested in Receiving COVID-19 Vaccine, How Should I Proceed?
Any person wishing to receive the COVID-19 vaccine should be fully informed about all side effects before vaccination. You can book your phone consultation with your GP at Shire Doctors and Dentists to discuss your concerns. Otherwise, you can book your vaccination appointment online.
If you have any of the following symptoms (fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose, or a combination of these), have been or are in isolation, and/or are awaiting results of a COVID 19 test – please do not visit our practice. Please call us on 02 9063 8650 to arrange a phone consult.
For further information on COVID-19 and to find your nearest testing centre, visit this link:
For Comprehensive Vaccination Services, Get in Contact with Shire Doctors and Dentists
Are you in need of vaccination services in Caringbah? Qualified and caring doctors are available at Shire Doctors and Dentists for your convenience.