In order to create immunity, an individual must be exposed to germs. But why not stop germs before they are able to multiply and make you sick? This is exactly the purpose vaccinations are supposed to serve. They rally immune system forces before an attack can occur. By doing so, vaccination confers immunity against disease. However, there is an ongoing debate – To vaccinate or not to vaccinate?
How Vaccines Work
The process of vaccination mirrors the intrusion of a potentially harmful virus or bacterium on the body’s defenses – only without the germs. Instead, the vaccine includes a recognizable likeness of the pathogen in question. Essentially, a vaccine fools the body into thinking that a pathogen has made its way into the body.
The immune system is notified, and quickly launches an attack on the “invaders”. Response eventually winds down, leaving a series of protective B and T cells to address any future encounters.
Immunizations In The Past
The controversy behind vaccines is well documented. In the past however, vaccination fears were generally overridden by fear of the disease itself. When the polio vaccine was first introduced, families lined up for trials. These were people without a clue as to whether the vaccine would cause the disease. Furthermore, participants were not made aware whether they would be receiving a placebo or the actual vaccine. The threat of polio was so terrifying that they were willing to attempt anything.
Pros And Cons Of Immunizations
These days, the country stands divided on the vaccine issue:
Pro: As with all medical procedures, vaccines carry a risk of side effects. However, the risk of serious side effects is rather minute when compared to the benefits vaccinations provide says Immunizeforgood.com. In reality, the diseases you are protecting your children from are far worse than most any possible vaccine side effect.
Con: Possible allergies and possibly harmful ingredients including preservatives make many believe a correlation exists between vaccinations and brain damage, lowered IQ, ADD, learning disabilities, and autism. They claim that natural immunity offers a more complete immunity than modern vaccination, and that vaccines are composed of cadaver organs.
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Chief Operating Officer, The Compounding Pharmacy of America
Matthew Poteet, Pharm.D. graduated with Honors from Lee University with a Bachelors of Science in Biological Science. After his undergraduate training, he completed the Doctor of Pharmacy program at Mercer University Southern School of Pharmacy, graduating in 2004. Dr. Poteet has spent much of his pharmacy career on staff at two of the most prestigious academic teaching hospitals in the Southeast; Emory University in Atlanta and Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville. At these institutions he received extensive experience and training in sterile products compounding.
He returned home to East Tennessee in 2010, where he has held the position of Pharmacy Director at two sterile products pharmacies in Knoxville. Matthew lives in Knoxville with his wife, Chris. Dr. Poteet is Tennessee’s first Board Certified Anti-Aging Pharmacist by the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine.