Immunization is when vaccination is given to protect them against disease. Immunity acquired through immunization is comparable to immunity acquired from exposure to disease, except that you receive a vaccine as opposed to the actual disease.
This is why vaccines are such effective medical treatments.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), vaccine hesitancy is one of the top 10 threats to global health in 2019. Lack of confidence in getting immunization is due to the side effects and certain populations get insufficient information about the vaccination.
Therefore, it is important to understand the importance of vaccines to protect you and your family from certain diseases.
Boost immune system
Inactive or weakened versions of the antigen (virus) that causes the body to mount an immune response are found in vaccines. Instead of the actual antigen, more recent vaccinations contain the blueprint for making them.
Surprisingly, this weakened version won’t cause the disease in the person receiving the vaccine, regardless of whether the vaccine is made up of the antigen itself or the blueprint so that the body will produce the antigen, but it will encourage their immune system to respond much as it would have on its first reaction to the actual pathogen.
Protect you from potentially deadly diseases and save children from disabilities.
Let’s take a look at the journey of eradicating polio.
Around the world during the beginning of the 20th century, polio paralyzed hundreds of thousands of people each year. Two efficient vaccinations against the illness have been created by 1950.
However, vaccination was still not widely enough practiced in some regions of the world, particularly in Africa, to stop the polio virus from spreading.
A coordinated international campaign to eradicate polio from the planet started in the 1980s. Polio vaccination has taken place on all continents over the course of many years and decades using routine immunization visits and major vaccination programs.
The African continent was declared wild poliovirus free in August 2020, joining all other regions of the world with the exception of Pakistan and Afghanistan, where polio has not yet been eradicated, thanks to the vaccination of millions of people, especially children.
This is only a tiny bit of the vaccines’ success in one disease. There’s a lot of evidence calling vaccines a lifesaver for other diseases as well.
Protect other people in your community.
Have you heard about herd immunity?
When a sizable fraction of a population (the herd) develops immunity to a disease, herd immunity occurs. When herd immunity is reached, the likelihood of disease transmission from one person to another decrease.
As a result, everyone in the community is shielded from harm, not just the immune individual.
But the question is, why herd immunity is so important to be achieved?
Certain vaccines may not be safe for people to receive if they have significant sensitivities to some of the vaccine’s components or underlying medical problems that impair their immune systems (such as cancer or HIV).
If these persons live with and around those who have received vaccinations, they can still be protected.
Vaccination is very important to save a life. However, the process of achieving herd immunity for certain diseases is still a hassle due to the false information being distributed to the public widely. We should create more campaigns and catchy advertisements to help promote the efficacy of vaccines in the community.
- How do vaccines work? (2020, December 9). WHO. https://www.who.int/news-room/feature-stories/detail/how-do-vaccines-work
- Moini, M. (n.d.). Top five reasons why immunization is important. UNICEF India. https://www.unicef.org/india/stories/top-five-reasons-why-immunization-important
- National Centre of Infectious Disease. (2022). Vaccines can help save lives, prevent disability – National Centre for Infectious Diseases. https://www.ncid.sg/News-Events/News/Pages/Vaccines-can-help-save-lives-prevent-disability.aspx
- World Health Organization. (2019). Ten threats to global health in 2019. WHO. https://www.who.int/news-room/spotlight/ten-threats-to-global-health-in-2019