Vaccinations support your immune system’s ability to protect you from harmful diseases. At CN Internal Medicine in Alexandria and Lansdowne, Virginia, the team provides vaccinations to reduce your risk of getting sick and keep you healthy. If you need to update your vaccinations, the team at CN Internal Medicine can help. Call the office nearest you today or schedule an appointment online.
What are vaccinations?
Vaccinations are also called vaccines and immunizations. They’re medical treatments that teach your immune system to recognize and protect you against germs (bacteria and viruses) that make you sick. Vaccinations are given as an injection, liquid, pill, or nasal spray.
Vaccinations contain weakened or dead germs or specific proteins unique to a germ. When administered into your body, your immune system recognizes the germ as a foreign agent and creates antibodies.
If you come in contact with the germ at another time, your immune system recognizes the germ and activates the antibodies needed to kill it, potentially preventing you from getting sick at all or at least from developing severe symptoms.
This is how your immune system works when you get sick from real viruses like chickenpox. However, with the vaccine, you never get sick because the vaccine has given you the benefits of immunity.
What vaccinations do I need?
The CN Internal Medicine team follows the vaccination guidelines from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to determine what vaccinations you need. Though you get most of your vaccinations during childhood and adolescence, you still need some as an adult.
Your CN Internal Medicine provider can help determine what vaccines you need based on your immunization record. In general, you need:
- Annual flu vaccine
- Tetanus, diphtheria (Td) or tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis (Tdap) every 10 years
- Shingles vaccine at age 50 or older
- Pneumococcal conjugate vaccine at age 65 or older
- Human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine by age 26
CN Internal Medicine offers the standard vaccinations, the annual flu vaccine, and the COVID-19 vaccine. You might also need boosters for your measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine if your antibodies (titers) are low.
What happens after getting vaccinations?
You can resume your routine following your vaccinations. It’s normal to experience some pain, swelling, and warmth at the injection site. These side effects can last a few days.
You might also develop a fever following some vaccinations. This is a normal reaction, a sign that your immune system is working to create the antibodies necessary to protect you.
If you have a history of an allergic reaction to a vaccine, tell your CN Internal Medicine provider.
Vaccinations protect you and your community from contagious diseases. Call CN Internal Medicine today or schedule your vaccinations online.