• Protecting yourself and your family from illness

    Nicole Lowe | October 23, 2023

    Protecting yourself and your family from illness

    This fall, and always, reducing the spread of illness remains top of mind around Alberta.
    Staying home when sick and practicing proper respiratory etiquette and hand hygiene are important. In addition, your single most effective means of protection is prevention through immunization.

    Influenza and COVID-19 immunizations help Albertans stay healthy, protect others and reduce pressure on Alberta’s health-care system. Learn more at ahs.ca/immunize.

    Here are a few quick facts to support your immunization decision making.

    You cannot get the disease from a vaccine.
    Most vaccines are inactivated vaccines. This means they have no living bacteria or viruses in them, so they cannot cause disease.

    Some of the vaccines for COVID-19 are mRNA vaccines. These types of vaccines also do not contain any living bacteria or viruses and cannot cause disease.

    Some vaccines, such as vaccines that protect against measles, mumps, rubella, varicella (chickenpox), or rotavirus, have weakened forms of these viruses. These are called live vaccines, but also do not contain enough virus to transmit disease through immunization.

    Your healthcare provider will always ask you questions about your health and medicines before you get a vaccine to make sure the vaccine is safe for you.

    Healthy diet and lifestyle are not enough to protect against infectious diseases.
    A healthy diet and lifestyle are important for overall health, but they do not provide direct immunity against the diseases that vaccines can prevent.

    Without immunization, your body will not have specific antibodies to fight off vaccine-preventable diseases. No matter how healthy your diet or lifestyle, without immunization, you are at risk for serious diseases. You are also more likely to spread these diseases to others.

    Most vaccines protect 90 per cent to 100 per cent of children who get their recommended doses.
    Without immunization, your child is facing possibly diseases without protection. Getting your child immunized at the right ages and the right times is the best way to protect them from serious disease.

    Homeopathic or naturopathic nosodes do not protect you from diseases.
    Homeopathic or naturopathic solutions, often called “nosodes,” are sometimes marketed as vaccines or immunizations. But they do not replace immunizations.

    Health Canada has not approved nosodes as vaccines. Nosodes are not tested or monitored for safety the same way that vaccines are. All vaccines in Canada are carefully tested and continually monitored for safety.

    For tools, resources and answers to common immunization questions, visit ahs.ca/immunize.

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