Several vaccine-preventable diseases remain in existence today, such as, for example, measles, tetanus and pneumococcal pneumonia. Getting vaccinated with vaccines proven safe and effective constitutes preventive action for protecting yourself and your loved ones.
3 reasons to get vaccinated
1. To be protected from serious consequences
Vaccination is the most effective way to be protected against certain illnesses which can have serious consequences on our health. In certain cases, they can cause permanent damage or even death
For example, tetanus is an illness that often causes death, for which there is no existing treatment. Polio, in its case, can cause paralysis and permanently affect mobility.
Contracting an illness naturally can effectively give someone immunity however, the risk of developing severe consequences is great when contracting serious illnesses. With vaccination, the risks are considerably lessened.
2. To protect the vulnerable people around you
Certain people are at greater risk of having complications if they contract illnesses. This is the case for pregnant women, infants, the elderly, as well as those living with chronic illnesses or with a weakened immune system. Others cannot be vaccinated due to allergies or health issues for example.
Choosing to be vaccinated helps to protect all these individuals.
3. To protect the community
A vaccinated person is less likely to contract an illness and transmit it to others. By getting vaccinated, you protect yourself, but also, the whole community.
How vaccines work
Vaccines allow the immune system to prepare to fight against a virus or bacteria before even being in contact with the illness.
The main components of a vaccine are called antigens. They allow the immune system to learn to recognize an enemy and to produce antibodies to combat against it without giving the illness. The immune system memorizes these acquired learnings and is therefore able to react quickly if the person comes into contact with the illness in the future.
It is sometimes necessary to help the immune system to remember what an antigen looks like and thereby remember how to defend itself quickly and effectively against an illness. This is the reason recall doses are sometimes necessary.
Effectiveness of vaccines
Thanks to vaccines, several serious illnesses have completely disappeared, (such as smallpox throughout the world, or polio in Canada). Other illnesses have become very rare in industrialized countries, (such as diphtheria and tetanus or hepatitis B with vaccinated youths).
However, like any other medication, no vaccine is 100% effective. The effectiveness of a vaccine depends on several factors such as, the person’s age, their health status and even, the similarities between the strains of the virus that is circulating and those contained in the vaccine.
In order for vaccines to protect you in the most effective way possible, it is important to respect the recommendations of your health professional, especially with regards to the number of doses required and the best time to get vaccinated.
Safety of vaccines
All vaccines distributed in Canada, without exception, are subject to extremely strict safety standards.
Vaccines can sometimes cause side effects. In Quebec and everywhere in the world, they are continuously monitored to quickly detect any unusual, serious, or rare side effects and intervene as required.
Most often, the side effects are not serious and are temporary. They can be, for example, a light fever or tenderness at the location of the injection. These reactions are considered normal and harmless.
In very rare cases, vaccination can cause severe allergic reactions, in the same way that an allergy can appear after eating a new food. These allergic reactions can be treated. This is why it is important to stay put for at least 15 minutes after receiving a vaccine.
Vaccines offered in Nunavik
- Flu Vaccine
- COVID Vaccination
- Monkeypox Vaccination
- Hepatitis A Vaccination
- Tuberculosis Vaccination (BCG)
- An important partner for recommendations on children’s health: Canadian Paediatric Society - immunization
- Site of the Public Health Agency of Canada
- Canadian Coalition for Immunization Awareness and Promotion