National Immunization Awareness Month: Vaccine Basics

Immunization Awareness and Vaccine Basics

Thanks to a vaccine, one of the most terrible diseases in history—smallpox—no longer exists outside the laboratory. Over the years vaccines have prevented countless cases of disease and saved millions of lives.

August is National Immunization Awareness Month. The experienced physicians at Pomona Valley Health Centers (PVHC) want to share some vaccine basics with you, so you can better understand why they’re so important.

Why are vaccines so important?

Vaccines create immunity toward certain diseases. Immunity is the body’s way of preventing disease.

The first time a person is infected with a specific antigen (e.g., the measles virus), the immune system creates antibodies to fight it. A vaccine, typically administered as a shot, is made from very small amounts of weakened or dead antigens. They help prepare your immune system so it can fight the disease faster and more effectively. When you’re vaccinated you won’t get sick if you’re exposed to the disease.

In the last few years some parents have refused or delayed vaccinating out of fear or misinformation about its safety. As a result, there are more unvaccinated children, adolescents and adults in our communities.

Choosing to not vaccinate your children not only leaves them susceptible to disease, but also puts at risk other children who are too young or sick to be vaccinated.

Are vaccines safe?

Vaccines are one of the safest medical treatments available proven to prevent disease. They can also help you avoid high medical costs associated with treating infectious diseases. As with any medical treatment there are risks, but they are significantly less than those associated with the diseases themselves. Once you’re vaccinated, you may experience one or more of the following mild side effects for a few days (serious side effects are extremely rare):

  • Mild fever
  • Pain, swelling or redness at injection site
  • Shivering
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Muscle or joint pain

If you would like to learn more about the benefits of vaccinations and other preventative health care measures, call Pomona Valley Health Centers at 909-536-1493.

Routine vaccinations can also be administered during routine well-woman care visits. Contact PVHC to schedule an appointment with a skilledOB/GYN in Chino Hills, Pomona, Claremont, and La Verne.

Measles Continues to Spread: Who Is at Risk?

Measles Continues to Spread: Who Is at Risk?

Did you know the bacteria in your coughs and sneezes can stay alive in the air for up to 45 minutes? Measles is a highly contagious disease that spreads easily through airborne respiratory droplets expelled by a cough or sneeze. That puts a lot of people at risk (often unknowingly).

In 2000, measles was declared an eliminated disease in the United States. In recent years, however, there has been a surge of people reluctant to vaccinate. As a result, we are seeing an uptick in measles cases. This is particularly true in communities with low vaccination rates. To create an adequate blanket of protection for everyone, between 93 and 95 percent of the population must be vaccinated.

Who is at risk for measles?

Besides those who have decided not to get vaccinated, certain people are at a heightened risk of contracting this disease. Reasons include age, health conditions, or other factors like pregnancy. Here is a list of people who can not, or should not, get a measles vaccination:

  • Babies and small children who are too young to be fully vaccinated.
  • Elderly individuals who are sick or have a weakened immune system.
  • Anyone with a history of severe or life-threatening allergic reactions to any MMR (Measles, Mumps, and Rubella) vaccine.
  • Women who are pregnant.
  • Anyone with a weakened immune system due to HIV, AIDS, radiation, chemotherapy, immunotherapy, or steroids.
  • Anyone with a family history of immune system problems.
  • Anyone with a condition that causes them to bruise or bleed easily.
  • Anyone who has recently had a blood transfusion or received other blood products.
  • Anyone who has tuberculosis.

Vaccinations are a vital part of preventative care, not just for yourself, but also for those around you who are unable to get vaccinated.

Protect your community today and get vaccinated against measles and other preventable diseases. Pomona Valley urgent care services in Chino Hills, Pomona, Claremont, and La Verneoffer onsite immunizations on top of their robust medical care services.

5 Healthy Tips to Teach Your Kids

5 Healthy Tips to Teach Your Kids

It’s true, healthy parents have healthy kids. In fact, you are the most important influence on your child, especially when they’re young. One of the best things you can do to help your child’s health and wellness is to set a good example. When you eat a healthy, well-balanced diet, exercise regularly and attend regular check-ups with your doctor, your kids are more likely to follow suit.

5 tips to help your children live a healthy life

There is a large body of research suggesting physical activity and a healthy diet pay off in the classroom. When your kids are healthy, they are happier, more focused and do better in school. Help them stay healthy with these tips:

  • Get regular check-ups
    Give your children a healthy start by making sure they visit their pediatrician and dentist for regular checkups. Show them it’s important by setting and keeping your own health appointments as well. When you make health a priority while they’re young, they are more likely to continue with regular checkups into adulthood.
  • Limit screen time
    TV, computer games, iPads and smartphones can be fun and educational, but small minds and bodies need a lot of physical stimulation throughout the day. Limit screen time to two hours per day or less.
  • Eat the rainbow
    Teach your kids about food early, so they understand the value of a healthy meal. Introduce them to a selection of colorful fruits and vegetables, so it becomes a natural part of their diet. Food is like fuel, the more nutritious their diet, the better they’ll feel physically and emotionally.
  • Hydrate with H20
    Instead of reaching for soft drinks or juice, give your kids a tall glass of water when they’re thirsty. Store-bought juices and soda contain a lot of sugar and can lead to health complications like weight gain or even diabetes if consumed in excess.
  • Get moving
    Encourage physical fitness and show them that exercise is fun. Kids want to do everything you do, especially when they’re young. So go ahead, climb, swing and slide at the park with them.

Kids love to get up and get moving, but sometimes that means bumps and bruises. Pomona Valley Health Centers has your little one covered head to toe with convenient urgent care in La Verne, Chino Hills, Claremont and Pomona. Call 909-536-1493 for more information about our urgent care services.