Being immunized means that you have been given a medicine (called a vaccine), to help prevent certain illnesses. Chances are that when you were a baby, you were immunized against a lot of different diseases that can be super serious. During school, the public health nurse usually comes when you are in grade 4, 6, and 8 to immunize you against things like hepatitis B, human papillomavirus (HPV), and tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis. Each fall, your family may have taken to a clinic to also get immunized against the annual flu bug.

Immunizations work by helping your body identify certain germs, and then your body can fight those germs. Most vaccines have a teeny tiny portion of the killed germ that causes the illness inside the medicine. When the vaccine is injected into you, it’s actually your body that does all the work over the next 7-10 days. Your body basically meets the (killed) germ for the first time, and starts working on making antibodies (little soldier cells) in case your body needs to attack against the germ in real life. This way, if you come into contact with the real germ that is alive, your body already has an army of soldiers (antibodies) ready to fight back and keep you from getting super sick.

Immunizations are one of the most important and useful inventions in medicine and vaccines have saved millions of lives. There are some people out there who think vaccines are bad. Sadly, there has been some totally untrue information out there about vaccines. (A doctor even lost his ability to keep being a doctor because he didn’t tell the truth about vaccines). It’s true that vaccines can have possible side effects, but all medications have risk of side effects, including stuff like Tylenol, Advil, and birth control. If you want to make an informed choice, check out these links for accurate information.

Hepatitis B vaccine:

HPV vaccine:

Tetanus, Diphtheria, Acellular Pertussis vaccine:

Measles, Mumps, Rubella vaccine:

Meningococcal vaccine: