Why Are Vaccinations Important?
Many teens are being exposed to measles, mumps and whooping cough , especially in schools and on college campuses where large numbers of people are together in close quarters.

These diseases wouldn’t spread as quickly — or be as serious — if people were immunized against them. But many teens are not.

Vaccines contain either parts of microbes (bacteria/viruses) or whole microbes that have been killed or weakened so that they do not cause the disease. When a person is vaccinated, these microbes enter the body and stimulate the immune system to make antibodies that REMEMBER a virus or bacteria if it encounters them again. hat enables the body to fight off the real microbes quickly if it comes in contact with the body. Some vaccinations (like the HPV vaccine) are given as a series of shots, not just one single dose. Some people may have missed getting all the required shots. Not getting a full course of a vaccine leaves a person unprotected and still at risk for getting a disease. Other vaccinations require a booster shot every few years to ensure that the level of immunity remains high.

Why Do I Need Shots?
there are good reasons to get shots:

One little prick protects you from some major health problems. For example, older teens and adults who get diseases like mumps may be at risk for side effects of the illness, such as infertility (the inability to have children). Teens who are exposed to rubella may deliver congenitally malformed baby if the titre of rubella is highin their body.

Vaccinations are about protecting you in future, not just as a kid. Hepatitis B vaccination and Tetanus vaccines protect us against the disease in adulthood.similarly chicken pox vaccine protects us against chickenpox , which is worse in adults than in childhood.

Vaccines could even save your life. Hepatitis B attacks the liver and can eventually kill. The new HPV vaccine can protect girls from a type of cervical cancer. And scientists are constantly working on new vaccines against deadly diseases like HIV.

Vaccination before travelling to endemic areas : like yellow fever vaccination, if travelling to Africa

Which Vaccinations Do I Need as a Teen ?
Doctors now recommend that teens are vaccinated against the following diseases:
• diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis (called the Tdap vaccine)
• measles, mumps, rubella (the MMR vaccine)
• hepatitis A
• hepatitis B
• meningococcal disease (e.g., meningitis)
• human papilloma virus (HPV)
• varicella (chickenpox) if you have not had the disease
• influenza (flu)

The good news is you can still get a shot if you’ve missed it. Some people may need more vaccines than the ones listed above. For example, people with diseases that affect their immune system (like diabetes, HIV infection, or cancer) should get a pneumococcal vaccine. People who travel abroad may need to get special immunizations, depending on which country they’ll be in. Since vaccines can take a while to start working, ask your doctor well in advance which immunizations you’ll need.

How Do I Find Out If I’ve Had the Right Vaccinations?
Ask a parent to contact your pediatrician or family doctor so he or she can check your health records. After getting a vaccination, it generally takes 10 days to 2 weeks for the body to build up immunity to a disease.

Are Vaccinations Safe?
Like any medicine, vaccines may cause side effects, but receiving one is far safer than getting the disease it prevents. The most common reactions include soreness, redness, and swelling in the area of the shot or a low-grade fever. Usually acetaminophen (Crocin) or ibuprofen will take care of these side effects.If you’ve had reactions to vaccines in the past, let your doctor know. Before getting a vaccine, discuss any concerns that you have about it with your doctor.

Who Should Not Be Vaccinated?
People who have a weakened immune system (from AIDS or certain cancers, for example),on chemotherapy need to talk to their doctors before getting shots. Girls who are pregnant should talk to a doctor or health clinic before getting any shots.

People who have severe allergies to gelatin or the antibiotic neomycin should be careful with the MMR and varicella vaccines.people with egg allergy should be careful while taking the Flu Vaccines. If you have allergies, talk to your doctor to see if any vaccine should be avoided.

Still Dreading That Shot?
We usually think of vaccines as shots, but not all vaccines are given that way. Some are given orally (by mouth) or in other forms like nasal sprays.

But it’s impossible to escape the fact that some immunizations are just best given as shots. And it’s completely normal to feel nervous about them. If you’re dread shots, you can try a few techniques , like taking calming breaths and even coughing as the needle goes in.

The good news is that the shot itself only lasts for a second, but you’ll be protected for a long, long time.
Shots are given by injection with a needle.. Shots are usually given in your arm or sometimes your thigh.

Ouch…………!! My arm hurts !
Sometimes after a shot, your arm will hurt, be red, or have a small bump where the needle went in. You also could have a fever. Usually, the pain goes away quickly or after you take some pain reliever
It’s OK if you don’t like shots, but remember that they are your best shot at staying healthy!