How do vaccines work?

    When pathogens like virus or bacteria enter our bodies and our bodies do not produce enough antibodies to fight them away, we fall sick. 

    Vaccines are made from a killed, weakened, or portion of virus or bacteria. Once injected into our bodies, the bodies will create the antibodies against the particular disease. When the virus or bacteria enter our bodies again, our body will recognize this disease and “fight” it.

    How do vaccines protect my loved ones and me?

    Vaccination builds up your immunity against the disease you are vaccinated. They are the safest way to protect you, your loved ones and your community from serious and sometimes deadly diseases. 

    If only a few are immunized, contagious diseases spread easily from one to another. When enough people are immunized, you and your loved ones will be protected from the diseases.


    What are the diseases that can be vaccinated for protection?

    Hepatitis B is a viral infection that affects the liver. It can be spread through sex, mother to infant, contact with infected body fluids and contaminated needles. Can cause liver failure, liver cirrhosis (hardening) and liver cancer.

    Hepatitis A is spread through contaminated water, food or surfaces. Most serious complication is death, which is rare.

    Human Papillomavirus (HPV)is a sexually transmitted viral infection. Can also be infected by direct contact with infected mouths or genitals. HPV can cause cervix, mouth and throat cancers.

    Mumps is viral illness that is spread through coughs and sneezes. It is a painful disease and can also affect your brain, ovaries and testicles. At times, result in hearing loss.

    Pneumococcal is a bacteria causing severe pneumonia (lung infection) in older people and those with chronic diseases.

    Influenza is a viral infection spread through droplets and can infect a large group of people very fast causing outbreaks. Influenza can cause serious lung problems, infection of the blood and even death.

    Measles is a very infectious viral illness spread through coughs and sneezes. It can cause chest infection, fits, serious brain damage and even deaths.

    Varicella (chickenpox) is a highly contagious airborne viral infection. It causes fever and itchy rashes that become crusts. Can also cause brain problems and hospitalization.

    Rubella is a viral illness, also known as German measles. Rubella during pregnancy very serious. It can cause blindness, deafness, heart problems and even brain damage. Pregnant women should consider vaccination.

    Meningococcal is a serious bacterial infection affecting the lining and tissues around the brain. It can also cause infection of the blood, resulting in death.

    How often do I need to receive vaccinations?

    Where can I have these vaccinations?

    Different hospitals and clinics have different vaccinations depending on the government regulations. Please do check with us on the current availability of the vaccine you are interested in having.

    Talk with your Family doctor to have a personalized vaccination plan to protect you and your family against the mentioned diseases. If you are planning on traveling, it is important you discuss with your Family doctor ahead of time, as addition immunization may be required.

    For more information on vaccination available in Shanghai, you can contact:

    Shanghai Municipal Center for Disease Control and Prevention 

    Telephone: 021-62758710


    Shanghai Health and Family Planning Hotline: 12320


    This written content is to better inform you. It does not substitute medical advice. Please seek the advice of your doctor and healthcare professionals if you have any questions about this material.

    Click the link for more information on Family Medicine Clinical Service



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