Each year, the World Health Organization estimates that vaccines prevent two to three million deaths of adults and children. This safe and effective preventative care is one of the most important things you can do for your health and can sometimes mean the difference between life and death. World Immunization Week is an annual recognition of the importance of the vaccines and the vital role they play in our lives.
Vaccines are a necessary part of good health and are instrumental in preventing infectious diseases like pertussis (whooping cough,) polio, measles and many others. Immunizations interact with your immune system to produce an immune response similar to that produced by a natural infection, preparing your body’s antibodies in case you are ever exposed to the disease in the future. They do not give you the disease they are designed to prevent.
Preventable diseases that once ran rampant through communities have become uncommon in many countries thanks to vaccines, and will stay that way if adults and children who can be vaccinated do so according to the recommended schedule. Successful vaccination programs depend on the cooperation of every individual to ensure the well-being of all.
One of the most common diseases individuals get that can be prevented by vaccines is influenza, or the flu. The CDC recommends an annual flu shot for all adults, pregnant women, and children over 18 months. Each licensed vaccine goes through rigorous testing and is constantly monitored throughout its use for side effects and reactions.
Immunizations can also protect children from serious illness and complications from vaccine-preventable diseases. National Infant Immunization Week also seeks to bring awareness to the importance of immunizations for children to protect future generations of humanity. In the 1950’s, nearly every child developed measles and some even died from the disease. Today, many practicing physicians have never seen a case of measles—thanks to the capabilities of vaccines.
Vaccines are as important to your overall health as good diet and exercise. Immunizations can save lives and guard against a number of diseases, and can keep you and your children safe and healthy.
Rakhy Jubin Jacob, Infection Control
Sheeba Data, Education Coordinator Resources:
https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/events/niiw/overview.html Disclaimer: The contents of this article, including text and images, are for informational purposes only and do not constitute a medical service. Always seek the advice of a physician or other qualified health professional for medical advice, diagnosis, and treatment.