Vaccines

Millennium Park Medical Associates

Internal Medicine located in The Loop & Lakeview, Chicago, IL

Are you confident your vaccines are up to date? If not, schedule an appointment at Millennium Park Medical Associates, at either of its two Chicago, Illinois locations in the Loop or in the Lakeview neighborhood, and get vaccinated today. Vaccines are essential to not only your health, but public health as well. To protect yourself against disease today, call the practice, led by Farah Khan, MD, FACP, or reach out online.

Vaccines Q & A

What are vaccines?

Vaccines are injections that contain minuscule amounts of weak or dead disease-causing germs, such as bacteria, viruses, or toxins.

When Dr. Khan injects you with one of these vaccines, your body fights it off by developing antibodies so that, if and when you’re exposed to the germ at full strength, your body is ready to kill the disease before it starts.

The process of developing antibodies against disease is called immunization.

There are four types of vaccines:

Live vaccines

Live vaccines contain a living, but weak or dying virus, like chickenpox. Live vaccines are very effective, and to stay immunized, you only need one or two injections over the course of your whole life.

Inactivated vaccines

Inactivated vaccines contain a dead version of a virus or disease-causing germ. Inactivated vaccines aren’t as effective as live vaccines, so to ensure lifelong immunization, you need occasional new doses of the vaccine, called booster shots.

Toxoid vaccines

Toxoid vaccines contain germ-specific toxins that immunize against the disease-causing portion of the germ, not the actual germ.

To maintain immunity, you need occasional booster shots.

Subunit, recombinant, polysaccharide, and conjugate vaccines

Finally, these vaccines contain specific pieces of a germ, like a protein, sugar, or casing. They provide effective immunization against specific key elements of disease-causing germs.

Some require boosters and some do not.

Why are vaccines important?

Vaccines are important because they protect society against infectious diseases, many of which have virtually disappeared. For example, consider diphtheria. Just a century ago, in 1921, more than 15,000 Americans died from this disease.

Later that decade, doctors developed the first diphtheria vaccine and nearly eradicated it. Between 2004 and 2014, only two known people developed diphtheria in the US.

When you vaccinate yourself, you protect not only your own health, but the health of your family, friends, and children.

How often do I need to get vaccinated?

When you’re very young, your parents make sure you get immunized for a plethora of diseases, and as you get older, you require booster shots.

To keep track of your immunization schedule, you need to share your immunization records with Millennium Park Medical Associates.

Some of the many vaccines you may need throughout your life include:

  • Tdap and Td (Diphtheria, Tetanus, and Pertussis)
  • Hep A (Hepatitis A)
  • Hep B (Hepatitis B)
  • Twinrix combo (Hepatitis A and Hepatitis B)
  • TB (tuberculosis)
  • Influenza
  • Pneumonia
  • SHINGRIX (shingles)

You may also need to make an appointment for vaccinations if you have a compromised immune system, you’ve recently come into contact with someone that is infected with a disease you aren’t immunized against, or if you’re traveling abroad.

Vaccines are essential to your health and the health of everyone around you. To schedule a vaccination appointment, call Millennium Park Medical Associates or fill out the online booking tool today.