Conditions That Can Prevent Successful Vaccination

Child_vaccineOne of the more common misconceptions surrounding vaccinations is the question of their effectiveness. Or rather, the assumption of their effectiveness. A common argument against vaccinations made by their opponents is that if vaccinations are so effective, why is it so necessary that everyone receive one? Why are vaccinated people so scared of people who have not yet been immunised against certain diseases?

Ignoring some of the other flaws in this argument, it presupposes one thing regarding vaccinations: that they are always 100% effective. This is a little optimistic, given that very few things in nature work exactly the same all the time, and vaccines are, unfortunately, little different. While the success rate is high, as much as 95%, there are still conditions that can prevent vaccinations from being successful. There are those, for example, who may receive a vaccination but find that, for some reason, the vaccine did not take, and the individual is not immune. Some condition has prevented it from being effective.

Some of these conditions cannot be helped by the individual in question – such as their age or the state of their immune system when the vaccine was being administered – while others are more preventable.

What Prevents Vaccines from Being Successful
There are certain health conditions that can prevent a vaccine from working, most of which involve weakening the immune system. Vaccines work by injecting weakened or dead viruses into the body for the immune system to overwhelm and “memorise”, which allows them to recognise stronger variants of the virus and fight them off. This can be a very dangerous prospect if your immune system cannot effectively destroy the induced infection.

Some people are simply unlucky enough to have a weak immune system to begin with. In this case, vaccination can still work but needs to be more carefully monitored and supplemented. People interested in getting a vaccination while having a weak immune system will be pleased to know there are a number of diets and supplements they can take to boost their body’s effectiveness against disease. Others may have weakened immune systems from having a condition or disease that negatively impacts their effectiveness in attacking foreign bacteria and viruses.

Such conditions can include:

  • Influenza
  • HIV/AIDs
  • Measles
  • Certain cancer treatments, such as chemotherapy
  • Stress
  • Poor diet and lack of exercise

These conditions can all hamper your immune system, and as a result doctors will not usually administer vaccinations to these people except under unusual circumstances, or else will only do so under careful supervision.

Sometimes a person’s age can also have a negative impact on the effectiveness of a vaccine. In general vaccines are most effective when used on young children above the age of 2 to adulthood. The age groups most at risk from vaccinations are infants and the elderly. Of course, this all depends upon the vaccination in question; sometimes the effectiveness of them can vary depending on what the vaccine is for. It also depends upon the individual.

Young children, for example, can receive the vaccine, but their effectiveness is reduced, sometimes to as little as 66%. Usually the chance of immunisation increases as the child gets older, reaching a peak at around 10 to 12 years old.

Once you hit your fifties, the effectiveness rate of vaccines begins to drop. The ‘flu vaccine, in particular, will not work as well as it would have previously. However, there’s the fact that the ‘flu becomes a lot more serious the older you get. So even if your age may prevent vaccinations from being successful, it is still highly advised that you seek one out. It is better to have a chance of protection than no chance of protection at all. 30% to 70% chances of immunisation are far better than 0%.

This again depends on the type of vaccination used. Nasal spray vaccinations for flu are better used on children between the ages of 2 to 8. For older adults, a direct injection ‘flu jab is better suited.

The writer of this article, Christian Mills, is a health blogger who strives to warn parents of the importance of vaccinations and other forms of healthcare for children. He also recommends having a quality pediatric urgent care service on speed-dial in the event of a problem, and the one he prefers is Night Lite Pediatrics. You can learn more about Christian on Google+.

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