Safeguarding Health Through Vaccines: Protecting Against Preventable Adult and Childhood Diseases

Vaccines are a foundation of public health, playing a vital role in preventing the spread of infectious diseases. The providers and staff at Floyd Valley Healthcare recognize the significant role vaccines play in keeping patients and the entire community safe and are always available to discuss any questions or concerns you may have regarding the safety of these important immunizations.

“It’s crucial that patients and parents rely on credible sources of information when addressing concerns or questions about vaccinations, especially those for kids,” says Dr. Jolene Meis, a pediatrician at Floyd Valley Healthcare, who, along with Geri Lynn Schroeder, ARNP, is a vaccine champion with the Iowa Department of Public Health. “Vaccinations remain the most effective strategy in controlling disease, saving lives and ensuring the well-being of our children, friends and family.”

Tetanus, influenza, COVID-19 and childhood vaccines play crucial roles in preventing the spread of these infections and reducing associated health risks. By following recommended vaccination schedules, including childhood immunizations, patients can actively contribute to their own well-being and the well-being of their communities.

“By understanding the value of vaccination, we can make informed decisions that protect ourselves, our families and our communities,” says Dr. Meis.

Tetanus, often known as “lockjaw,” is a potentially life-threatening bacterial infection. The tetanus vaccine is a crucial preventive measure that saves lives, starting from childhood. Bacteria that cause tetanus can enter the body through even the tiniest cuts or wounds, , causing severe muscle stiffness and spasms.

Administered as part of the childhood immunization schedule, the tetanus vaccine provides long-term protection against the disease, effectively preventing infection and its devastating consequences. Booster shots are recommended every ten years to maintain immunity throughout adulthood.

If you experience a scrape or cut – especially with a dirty or rusty edge – you should ensure your tetanus or Tdap shot is up to date. If it’s been longer than 10 years, you should make an appointment for a booster as soon as possible.

Influenza, or the flu, is a contagious respiratory illness caused by a virus. The flu can lead to mild to severe illness, hospitalizations and even death, particularly in vulnerable populations, including children, the elderly or those with underlying conditions. The influenza vaccine is an essential tool in reducing the spread and impact of the flu among children and the general population.

Annual flu vaccinations are highly recommended for children and adults. Each year, experts analyze circulating strains and formulate vaccines targeting the most prevalent strains for that season. Vaccination significantly reduces the risk of contracting the flu, minimizes its severity if infection occurs and helps prevent potential complications.

“The COVID pandemic underscored the crucial role of vaccines in controlling the spread of infectious diseases, says Geri Lynn Schroeder, ARNP. “Developed through rigorous research and clinical trials, COVID-19 vaccines have proven to be safe and effective in preventing severe illness and hospitalization.”

COVID-19 vaccines work by stimulating the immune system to recognize and fight the virus that causes COVID-19. Vaccinating children and adults not only protect them but also helps break the transmission chain, safeguarding the entire community. Widespread vaccination is vital in achieving herd immunity, where a significant portion of the population is immune to the virus, reducing its ability to spread.

Keeping a proper vaccination schedule for kids is of utmost importance for their overall health. Vaccinations provide vital protection against a range of preventable diseases, safeguarding children from potential complications and even death. By adhering to the recommended vaccination schedule, parents can ensure that their children receive timely immunizations that strengthen their immune systems and offer long-term immunity.

Vaccinations not only protect individual children but also contribute to the larger community by preventing the spread of infectious diseases. By prioritizing their child’s vaccination schedule, parents play a crucial role in promoting a healthier future for their children and communities.

Remember, vaccines have a proven track record of safety and effectiveness. Consult with your Floyd Valley Healthcare provider at 712-546-8111 to address any concerns and make informed decisions, and to learn about all the services Floyd Valley Healthcare provides to keep you and your family healthy, visit