An invaluable gift of medical science to mankind, vaccines have prevented millions of premature illnesses and deaths worldwide. Because immunization helps to inhibit the spread of disease, many people can be protected from illness and death. Thus, immunization stands unrivaled and instrumental in warding off infectious diseases and bringing down death rates.
Regular widespread use of vaccination has proven very effective in controlling or even eliminating health disorders. *Before 1980, small pox was a threat to 60% of the world’s population and one out 4 people became its victims. A vaccination campaign in 1980, finally eliminated all natural cases of small pox. At present, there is a vast range of vaccines available to protect against more than 26 infectious diseases – and there are new vaccines on the horizon with the potential to prevent even more.
There are many ways how vaccination can prolong one’s life. Read along to know some of the most important ones.
- Vaccines protect against many infections which can lead to death. When a person skips vaccination, he/she is more vulnerable to illnesses such as shingles, pneumococcal disease, influenza, and HPV and hepatitis B, both leading causes of cancer.
- Even if vaccinated individuals get sick, the risk of complications is lower. For instance, when flu-vaccinated people get the flu they will often see less severe symptoms, decreasing the risk of hospitalization and death associated with the flu.
- Vaccination protects people that don’t even get it. If enough people in a community are vaccinated, even people who can’t get vaccinated will be protected. This is called herd immunity, and it’s just as vital for disease prevention as individual immunity.
- Vaccines can protect the effectiveness of other disease-fighting medications like antibiotics and antivirals. When a vaccine stops the onset of a disease, there is little need for these treatment procedures.
- Lots of vaccines have benefits outside of their intended effect, like it combats other diseases too. Scientists call these non-specific benefits. For eg. In Africa, since the measles vaccine, deaths as a result of other infections, fell down by a third. In developed countries, eczema and asthma risks have fallen as a consequence of vaccination.
- A little bit of prevention is worth a fortune of cure. Vaccines are obviously cost-effective, when compared to expensive treatments for preventable diseases. Thus, not only do vaccines provide economic benefits, they give an individual a healthier life involving lesser recuperative periods.
Do remember that vaccines for tuberculosis, diphtheria, pertussis, polio, measles, tetanus, hepatitis B, hepatitis A, typhoid, mumps, rubella, gastroenteritis are essential for children to protect them. As for adults, vaccines for flu, pneumonia, chicken pox, shingles and tdap are essential for disease prevention.
Do consult your health specialist for more details regarding the right vaccination for you and your loved ones.