What is a Titer, and Why Do You Need One?

We have all heard of immunizations, especially given the recent controversy about whether they should be required by law or left to free choice. But how much do we really know about vaccines and their counterpart titers? Here’s your quick guide to understanding the essentials.

Vaccinations and Controversy

The diseases that vaccinations defend against have been “out of sight, out of mind” for most of the U.S population since the vaccinations became widely available through physicians and clinics. Polio, for example, is not a disease we actively fear because it doesn’t play a role in our lives, but without the vaccination children would be very much at risk. Due to a lack of fear of those diseases and an increased fear of immunization’s equally debated side effects, many parents are now opting their children out of immunizations. One side of the argument claims it is a parent’s right to choose what medical treatments her child receives, while the other camp insists that, with the exception of legitimate medial safety reasons, immunizations must occur to ensure general welfare and protection.

How Are Titers Different?

While vaccinations actively inject a miniscule amount of live disease into your system to help the immune system resist any further stains of the disease, titers are blood tests that check your immune status to certain diseases or vaccinations. Positive titers indicate that you’re fully immunized and do not require further immunizations to ward off that particular infectious disease. Negative results, however, require further vaccinations.

What Types of Titers Are Available?

You can check your immunity to Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, MMR, Chicken Pox, and Rabies.

Who Would Even Require a Titer?

Work, school, and travel circumstances are all instances in which you may need certain immunizations to be considered healthy enough to be in the environment.

In the end, regardless of your stance on vaccinations, having your blood titers measured is an easy process that provides straight-forward results.