New York Center for Travel and Tropical Medicine closely follows regulations and recommendations according to the CDC immunization schedule.
Vaccines help your body fight off diseases by stimulating the production of disease-fighting antibodies. Our body produces some antibodies on its own over time, and some antibodies are passed from mother to child during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. But there are many diseases for which we have no natural immunity. Routine vaccines help fill this “immunity gap” by helping the body produce those antibodies necessary to fight off diseases.
No, although it's a common misconception, vaccines won't make you sick. Most vaccines do not contain live pathogens, and those that do contain only very tiny amounts – too small to make you sick. Some patients will experience some flu-like symptoms after being vaccinated, which occur as your body creates antibodies that will help it fight off the disease if you're ever exposed to it. Some people mistake this natural immune response for illness. Very rarely, a person may be allergic to a vaccine, and before being vaccinated, you should mention any allergies you may have, including allergies to foods.
No, adults need vaccines as well. Some childhood vaccines provide a lifetime of immunity, but others need to be “refreshed” with booster shots during adulthood. Other vaccines, like the shingles vaccine, are developed specifically for adults. And sometimes, new vaccines or better versions of old vaccines are developed which can benefit adults as well as kids.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other government agencies maintain up-to-date lists of vaccines that are recommended for both children and adults, as well as timetables for how often a vaccine should be administered for maximum effectiveness. Our staff has access to these lists, so we can make recommendations to ensure you receive the immunizations you need to stay healthy.