Immunizations services offered in The Loop, Chicago, IL

Immunizations prevent ill health by helping your body create the antibodies you need to fight off many painful and debilitating diseases. The caring providers at Michigan Avenue Primary Care in The Loop of downtown Chicago, Illinois, can vaccinate both you and your child to ensure you’re protected. Preventing serious diseases sounds a lot more sensible than waiting to get sick and risking possible complications, so call Michigan Avenue Primary Care or request an appointment online today.

What are immunizations?

Immunizations are one of the best methods of preventing serious illness. Children start receiving vaccinations shortly after birth and follow an approved immunization program throughout their childhood. These early vaccinations protect them against:

  • Measles
  • Mumps
  • Rubella
  • Diphtheria
  • Tetanus
  • Chickenpox
  • Rotavirus
  • Pneumococcal infection
  • Whooping cough (pertussis)
  • Haemophilus influenza type b (Hib)
  • Hepatitis A and B
  • Polio
  • COVID-19

These diseases can cause long-term health problems, disability, and complications that could be fatal. Immunization is safe, effective, and prevents your child from experiencing the dreadful symptoms these conditions can cause.

How does immunization work?

Immunization makes use of your body’s immune system and creates a defense against certain diseases.

When you pick up an infection, your immune system instantly responds to the invading organism and makes your white blood cells produce antibodies. These antibodies attach themselves to the invaders and destroy them, and are essential in recovery from disease.

After you recover, your immune system stores the antibodies it made for that infection so it can use them whenever it encounters that same organism again. That means if you’ve had a disease like chickenpox once, you won’t get it again. As soon as the virus enters your system, your immune system recognizes it and launches an attack, wiping out the invader very quickly.

Immunizations use this immune response to trigger the creation of antibodies for diseases you haven’t had. Each vaccine has a sample of the virus or bacteria in it that your immune system can use to produce the appropriate antibodies.

Unlike gaining immunity by going through the misery of having the disease, vaccines use dead, weakened, or inactive samples of the organism. That way, your body develops a defense against future encounters without you having to get sick first.

Do adults need immunizations?

If you haven’t had your childhood immunizations or need a booster, it’s worth seeing a provider at Michigan Avenue Primary Care about catching up with those you need. Adults also need immunizations against other diseases, such as tropical diseases you might catch overseas if you’re going on vacation or working abroad.

Flu vaccinations are available every year to help defend against the type of flu virus that’s most likely to be around that winter. As there are so many flu viruses, you can’t protect yourself against them all every year, but having an annual flu shot is still a valuable defense. 

This is particularly true for vulnerable adults who have a compromised immune system, older people, and those who have chronic health problems. Children can receive the annual flu shot, too.

You should also receive immunization against the strains of human papillomavirus that can cause cervical cancer. All boys and girls aged 11-12 should be vaccinated, but older people up to age 45 could also benefit from having the vaccine.

For sensible advice about the immunizations you or your child needs, call Michigan Avenue Primary Care or request an appointment online today.