Huge strides have been made internationally in the development of life-saving immunizations over the past century. Thanks to modern medicine, ground-breaking vaccinations are now being administered globally and continue to protect countless individuals from devious diseases.
In association with World Immunization Week, Selfmed aims to promote the use of vaccines to help protect people of all ages against disease. This is a global battle. The aim is to inform, equip and protect our nation, and people from across the world, from the spread of deadly viruses that can be prevented.
What happened before immunizations?
Before vaccinations came into effect, individuals and even whole communities ran the risk of developing life-threatening diseases. In the early 1950’s, for example, Polio had been responsible for killing and crippling entire populations. Something drastic had to be done to ensure the health of individuals, and particularly children, who were at risk of contracting Polio and other contagious illnesses.
Over the past five decades, medical research and resources have seen the successful development of immunizations, made available worldwide. With the spread of immunizations, we also experienced a steady decline in the spread of illness.
Common vaccinations are now available for a wide variety of diseases such as mumps, measles, whooping cough, influenza, tuberculosis and other deadly conditions. These are often introduced to young children, to help provide life-long immunization.
Today, vaccinations are considered one of the world’s most successful and cost-effective health interventions. Thanks to this revolutionary medical discovery, many fears are now relieved and the hope is that with the continued spread of immunizations around the world, life-threatening illnesses will continue to dwindle.
How do immunizations work?
Immunizations have been described as a ‘training course’ for the body. They prepare your body to fight off a particular strain of illness, without exposing you to the harsh symptoms of that illness. Your body is thus able to build up important antibodies and immunity to protect you from otherwise serious health conditions.
If enough individuals are vaccinated within a community, those who remain unvaccinated will also reap the rewards in what is called ‘herd immunity’, as most will never even come into contact with these deadly strains of infection.
On the other hand, in areas with large groups of unvaccinated people, the risk is far higher and the chances of contracting a deadly illness is far easier. Choosing not to vaccinate is therefore the riskier option – and you could be putting yourself and your children in harm’s way.
Are vaccines safe?
With continuous testing and advancements in medical technology, vaccinations are now among the safest medical innovations available today. Researchers and scientists continue to work together to ensure the safety of modern immunizations and every vaccine must adhere to very strict safety measures before it can officially be licenced and distributed to the public. These immunizations will face constant scrutiny and monitoring for as long as they remain on the market.
Yes, some vaccinations may result in side effects, but these are often negligible in comparison to the effects faced if you were to develop one of the life-threatening diseases that the vaccine works so hard to prevent.
Although there has been much rejoicing in the growth of accessibility and availability of immunizations worldwide, the World Health Organization still estimates that there are around 19.4 million unvaccinated and under-vaccinated children in the world.
In order for everyone, everywhere to survive and thrive, the WHO suggests that countries must make more concerted efforts when it comes to empowering their communities with knowledge and the availability of life-saving vaccinations.
As responsible adults, it is our public duty to do our very best to protect and care for the next generation. Having your children immunized is an important step to ensure their overall health, safety and protection from dreadful viruses that could otherwise kill them.
Do your part and ensure that your children’s vaccinations are up-to-date. Stay informed and spread the word that immunizations save lives.