Why are there additives in vaccines?

There are three main reasons for additives in vaccines:

  1. additives are used to enhance the effect of vaccinations (so-called adjuvants, such as aluminium salt).
  2. additives may also be residues of substances used to inactivate the pathogens during treatment of the vaccine.
  3. in very few vaccinations, additives are used to preserve the vaccine (preservatives).

In Germany, only in exceptional cases are organic mercury compounds still present in vaccines. In addition, each additive is tested extensively and in the long term for effectiveness and compatibility.

Can one be vaccinated against hay fever?

No, hay fever is not a pathogen, such as a bacterium, virus or similar. Hay fever causes an overreaction in the body against an allergen, which leads to the symptom hay fever.

Do I have to spare myself after a vaccination?

How to behave after a vaccination should be discussed with your doctor. 

In principle, however, the following applies: No heavy or extreme physical exertion after the vaccination — Your body undergoes an immune reaction through — light exertion (such as walking) is usually no problem.

What if I missed a vaccination?

Vaccinations can usually be easily made up for. Discuss the optimum procedure with your doctor in good time.

Can one be vaccinated against cancer (e. g. cervical cancer)?

It is still not possible to get vaccinated against cancer. Vaccinations "against cervical cancer", as recommended for young women, are not directed against cancer, but a virus that causes cancer (human papilloma virus = HPV). Therefore, the vaccination is also called HPV vaccination.

Is a combination vaccination dangerous for me?

The immune system - also of a young child - can cope well with a combination vaccination. In everyday life, the organism is exposed to many more pathogens. The benefits of a combination vaccination are: Fewer injections (less pain), fewer additives (better tolerability), cheaper than individual vaccinations, fewer appointments with the doctor and less bureaucracy.

I am sick at the vaccination appointment. Can I still be vaccinated?

In the case of a mild illness, vaccination is generally possible without problems. Consult your doctor about the correct procedure.

As a young, healthy patient, am I not already safe from illnesses - especially from the flu?

It is true that young and healthy patients often have a stronger immune system than older or sick patients. Nevertheless, people in particular are at risk of being infected if they have a lot to do with other people (in their work or private life). That is why vaccinations make sense for young people. 

In addition, there is the social responsibility to be vaccinated against diseases that are unlikely to cause death or have long-term consequences. Sick or immunocompromised people (e. g. small children, the elderly, the seriously ill) then benefit from so-called herd protection and are indirectly protected. Read more about this in the section "Vaccinating as a social responsibility".

Why should I get vaccinated every year? Why if I already had the flu?

There are several reasons for an annual vaccination. On the one hand, influenza viruses change easily from time to time and even new strains are added, so that a vaccination offers optimal protection for one season, but not for several years. The same applies to people who have already suffered from influenza: pathogens change, new strains of pathogens are added and immune protection becomes weaker over time. You should be vaccinated again.

The vaccine does contain viruses, can I get the flu?

It's true that the vaccine is partly pathogen. However, these have been killed or inactivated beforehand and there is no longer any risk of illness from them. The typical "side effects" such as fatigue, drowsiness, shivering and pain are general symptoms that can occur after each vaccination due to the activation of the body's own immune system.

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