Why vaccinations matter
A core frustration for medical professionals is that we can prevent most respiratory infections — including flu, pneumonia and whooping cough — with vaccinations.
Current guidelines suggest that all asthmatics, those with chronic heart or lung disease shuld have an annual flu shot. This also applies to those who are more likely to catch these diseases through their jobs,
Seasonal flu vaccination
The government subsidises seasonal flu vaccines for those aged over 65. The vaccines cause antibodies to develop in the body about two weeks after vaccination. These antibodies provide protection against infection.
Sometimes referred to as the one hundred-day cough, whooping cough is an extremely unpleasant experience for adults. Sufferers endure up to three months of extreme coughing, which causes them to vomit. Whooping cough can be deadly to newborn children who have much smaller airways.
Even when immunised, small babies are unable to build up any form of immunity from this most hideous disease until at least six months of age.
For this reason we recommend the whooping cough vaccine for pregnant women, expectant fathers and all aunts, uncles and new grandparents.
In fact, we recommend anybody who associates with small babies, including paramedics, early childhood educators and maternity nurses ensure they are protected from the disease.
As an added extra, the whooping cough vaccine also includes protection against tetanus and diphtheria. Although these diseases are not common in Australia, this may come in handy for overseas travel.
Another thing to keep in mind is that immunity wears down over time. This is precisely why our nurses urge anyone over the age of about 30 to consider getting a whooping cough booster shot.
We also offer the pneumonia shot to our patients. The government subsidises this vaccine for those aged 65 and over. We deliver the vaccine by way of two shots about five years apart. The pneumonia vaccine can’t prevent all cases but it does lower your chances of catching the disease.
The shingles vaccine is another one that tends to fly under the radar. Shingles is caused by the same virus that causes chickenpox and the vaccine is also subsidised by the government for those aged 70 or over.
These days we know that chickenpox and shingles are more severe in adults and anyone of any age with impaired immunity. This vaccine aims to protect against the nerve damage or irritation that can follow shingles.
It’s also important to remember that the range of available vaccine coverage is not just limited to respiratory disease.
At Main Road Medical Centre, we offer travel shots to protect you and your loved ones against diseases such as hepatitis A and typhoid.
We can offer advice about relevant travel shots to ensure you are not at risk of contracting these types of viruses when you travel abroad. Luckily there is little chance of coming across these types of diseases in Australia.