Vaccines Specialist

Alex M. Mercado, MD

Board Certified Internal Medicine located in Flanders, NJ

Vaccines are among the most astounding advancements in the history of medicine, and their importance in promoting both personal and public health can’t be overstated. That's why Alex M. Mercado, MD, A Primary Care Partners Affiliate, offers vaccinations and health history reviews as part of his comprehensive care. To find out if you and your children are up to date on your shots, schedule an appointment at the Flanders, New Jersey office.

Vaccines Q & A

How do vaccines work?

Your body has an innate ability to fight off disease. When infected, your immune system creates special proteins called antibodies to destroy the germs.

Those antibodies can’t prevent you from becoming sick during that first infection, but they help you get well, and they stick around to prevent future infection from those same types of germs.

Vaccines are carefully formulated from disease-causing germs. When Dr. Mercado introduces a minute amount of those germs into your system through a vaccine injection, your body responds by creating antibodies without actually getting sick.

Those antibodies stay in your system for life, waiting to attack the disease-causing germs if you ever encounter them in the future.

Which types of vaccinations are available?

There are several vaccines available to both adults and children. The common ones include:

  • Hepatitis A and B
  • Polio
  • Diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis (DTP)
  • Measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR)
  • Influenza
  • Varicella
  • Meningococcal disease

However, that's not a comprehensive list, and your personal needs may differ. People who travel abroad may need additional vaccinations.

Are vaccinations safe?

Some people avoid vaccinations out of concerns over the safety of the ingredients or based on the belief that vaccines lead to autism and neurological conditions. Despite a vast body of research, there's no evidence to support the assertion that vaccinations are harmful.

What is true is the fact that if more people avoid vaccination, there is a distinct possibility of deadly outbreaks of measles, pertussis, and other diseases that are currently under control in the United States.

When the bulk of a population is immunized against a specific disease, the population enjoys what’s called “herd immunity.” This means if a disease is introduced into that population, there will be very few individuals who can contract and spread the disease, making it easier to control and eradicate it.

The research is clear: vaccines save lives. Schedule an appointment with Dr. Mercado to review your immunization records and determine if you are up to date on your shots.

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