Importance of Vaccines
The body’s defense system, which ensures human survival and resists external harmful factors, is called the “immune system”.

Our body knows its own structure very well and can distinguish all kinds of microbes that are foreign to it. After the body identifies the structure of foreign microbes, it produces defense bodies (antibodies) that can neutralize these structures.

For example, a child who has measles will never get measles again in his life. However, when it comes to the existence of diseases that are severe even once contracted and can cause serious consequences such as death, disability, mental retardation, it becomes obvious how important it is to protect people from these diseases. The most effective, safest and cheapest method to prevent diseases is to vaccinate people.

Viruses, bacteria, etc. that are capable of causing disease in humans and animals. Biological substances developed to purify microbes from their ability to cause disease or to eliminate the effects of poisons secreted by some microbes and to give them to healthy people are called “vaccines”. The vaccine is administered to healthy and at-risk individuals to protect them from diseases and their adverse consequences.

The antibodies formed remain in the body for a long time, and if the same microbe re-enters the body during this period, they ensure that this microbe is eliminated before it can cause disease. For any vaccine to have a protective effect, it must be administered at appropriate ages and at appropriate intervals. Because vaccinations should be given to children before the periods when the risk of contracting diseases is highest.

Major types of vaccines:

Live vaccines: The microorganism in the vaccine is live and has been rendered completely harmless to the body. Tuberculosis, measles, rubella and mumps vaccines are examples of this.

Killed vaccines: The microorganisms used in the vaccine have been killed. However, its properties that stimulate the body to produce protective substances called antibodies have been preserved. The whooping cough vaccine is an example of this.

Subunit vaccines: The microorganisms used in the vaccine are broken down after being killed. These parts, which will stimulate the body to produce protective antibodies, are used in making vaccines. Examples include Hepatitis B and Flu vaccines.

Toxoid vaccines: In these types of vaccines, the microorganisms themselves are not used. The poisons produced by some of them are processed with various chemicals and their disease-causing effects are eliminated and used to make vaccines. Tetanus and diphtheria vaccines are these types of vaccines.

The possibility of side effects in vaccines produced with today’s modern technology has been reduced to almost zero. After the vaccine is administered, some side effects may very rarely occur in the body and at the vaccination site. Although these side effects are very rare, they usually include very high fever, pain and redness at the injection site. These side effects are generally short-lived, do not require medical treatment, and can be easily eliminated by mothers taking simple precautions. Although very rare, allergic and systemic reactions to the substances contained in the vaccine may occur after vaccination. However, these reactions are incomparably insignificant and much milder compared to the serious consequences that may occur with the occurrence of the disease.

Factors that may prevent vaccinations from being administered are very limited. It has now been proven by scientific research that conditions such as mild fever and diarrhea, which are believed by our people and therefore prevent children from being vaccinated, do not constitute an obstacle.

Vaccines, serum and some blood products, known as biological products, can be easily affected and damaged by external factors such as heat, sunlight and freezing. The ideal temperature for storing vaccines is the refrigerator shelf temperature between +2 C and +8 degrees. When buying vaccines for your child from the pharmacy, be careful to buy them with ice packs.

Although diphtheria, whooping cough and tetanus, which are among the severe and serious diseases of childhood, have been significantly eliminated by extensive vaccination studies, unfortunately, despite all efforts, these diseases have not been eradicated. Although these three diseases are now considered rare, the seriousness of the disease, its negative consequences and the fact that it causes death explain the importance of vaccination against these diseases.

Diphtheria, whooping cough and tetanus vaccine (triple combination vaccine)

Combination vaccines are administered to protect children against diphtheria, whooping cough and tetanus. A newborn baby should be vaccinated 3 times, 1 to 2 months apart, starting from the second month of life, followed by a booster dose at the 18th month. In the first grade of primary school, whooping cough should be excluded and only the diphtheria-tetanus combination vaccine should be given. (Tuberculosis, polio and measles – rubella – mumps vaccines should also be administered during this period.) Developing science and technology is trying to develop new vaccines to provide protection against many diseases with a single injection.