Wednesday, September 20, 2023

Why Are Vaccines So Important

Reasons Why Vaccination Is So Important

Doctor Explains: Ep 3 – Why Vaccination is so Important

Why should you get vaccinated? These are the reasons why vaccinations are so important for you and your loved ones.

Vaccinations are one of the most important medical interventions ever devised by mankind. They help keep many millions of people protected against some of the most devastating diseases ever to plague human beings.

In fact, they have been so effective that some diseases that were once feared are now, for all intent and purposes, extinct. Here we briefly explain the importance of vaccinations and offer some reasons why you really should always get vaccinated.


Getting Vaccinated Is Better For A Person And Their Community Than Treating An Illness

Vaccines are more effective than most treatments for a disease that occur after infection. Many of the illnesses that vaccines have eradicated or seriously reduced used to leave people scarred for life and those are the ones who survived. A few doses of a vaccine can usually provide long-term or even life-long protection.

Many of the illnesses that we now inoculate people against, like measles, are also highly contagious.

But vaccination not only helps prevent these diseases in the people who receive the vaccine, it also helps stop these diseases from infecting people who cannot get the vaccine in the first place, including those who are too young. However, this “community protection” is only effective if enough people get the vaccine in the first place.

What Would Happen If We Stopped Vaccinating Children And Adults

If we stopped vaccinating, the diseases would start coming back. Aside from smallpox, all other diseases are still active in some part of the world. If we dont stay vaccinated, the diseases will come back. There would be epidemics, just like there used to be.

This happened in Japan in the 1970s. They had a good vaccination program for pertussis . Around 80% of Japanese children received a vaccination. In 1974, there were 393 cases of whooping cough and no deaths. Then rumors began that the vaccine was unsafe and wasnt needed. By 1976, the vaccination rate was 10%. In 1979, there was a pertussis epidemic, with more than 13,000 cases and 41 deaths. Soon after, vaccination rates improved, and the number of cases went back down.

You May Like: How To Store Shingrix Vaccine

Brief History Of Vaccine Development

Advances in virus culture in vitro allowed viral pathogens to be studied in greater detail and attenuation methods due to cultivation in artificial conditions led to the live oral polio, measles, rubella, mumps and varicella virus vaccines. In the 1960s at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, vaccines were developed using capsular polysaccharides , of encapsulated organisms including meningococci and later pneumococci and Haemophilus influenzae type b . To protect against multiple serotype variants of polysaccharide capsules, polyvalent vaccines were developed and later conjugated to carrier proteins to enhance their efficacy in infants in particular by recruiting T-cell mediated help to induce memory B-cells . Vaccines made solely from proteins were rare, with the exception of the toxoid vaccines, but the acellular pertussis vaccine containing five protein antigens, was developed to mitigate the unwanted effects of the whole cell vaccine .

What Are The Types Of Vaccines

Why are vaccines so important?

There are several types of vaccines:

  • Live-attenuated vaccines use a weakened form of the germ.
  • Inactivated vaccines use a killed version of the germ.
  • Subunit, recombinant, polysaccharide, and conjugate vaccines use only specific pieces of the germ, such as its protein, sugar, or casing.
  • Toxoid vaccines that use a toxin made by the germ.
  • mRNA vaccines use messenger RNA, which gives your cells instructions for how to make a protein of the germ.
  • Viral vector vaccines use genetic material, which gives your cells instructions for making a protein of the germ. These vaccines also contain a different, harmless virus that helps get the genetic material into your cells.

Vaccines work in different ways, but they all spark an immune response. The immune response is the way your body defends itself against substances it sees as foreign or harmful. These substances include germs that can cause disease.

Read Also: When Do You Get Puppies Vaccinated

What The Vaccination Status In The United States

In United States, vaccinationcoverage levels among adults are low. Improvement in adult vaccinationis needed to reduce the healthconsequences ofvaccine-preventable diseases amongadults and to prevent pertussismorbidity andmortality in infants, who needthe protection afforded by the Tdap vaccination during pregnancyrecommendation. In 2012, adult vaccination coverage in the United Statesfor diseases other than influenzawas similar to 2011, except for modest increases in Tdap vaccination foradults aged 1964 years, herpes zoster vaccination among older adults,and HPV vaccination among women aged 1926 years, with no improvementsin coverage for the other vaccinesrecommended for adults. Many adults have not received one or morerecommended vaccines.

How Does Vaccination Work

The immune system is a network of cells, tissues and organs that work together to help fight off infection from harmful bacteria or viruses. When a disease-causing agent, such as virus or bacteria, invades your body, your immune system recognises it as harmful and will trigger a response to destroy it.

One of the ways your immune system fights off infection is by creating large proteins known as antibodies. These antibodies act as scouts, hunting down the infectious agent, and marking it for destruction by the immune system. Each antibody is specific to the bacteria or virus that it has detected and will trigger a specific immune response. These specific antibodies will remain in the immune system after the infection has gone. This means that if the same disease is encountered again, your immune system has a memory of the disease and is ready to quickly destroy it before you get sick and any symptoms can develop.

Also Check: How Long Does Chicken Pox Vaccine Last

Prevention Costs Less Than Treatment

According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , the cost of all of these vaccines is approximately $1,200 if obtained through CDC contracts, and about $1,600 if obtained through private insurance. While this sounds like a chunk of change, its nothing compared to the costs of doctor visits or hospitalizations.

The cost of an average doctors visit varies, but a sick visit can be $100-$200, more if any tests are needed. Emergency room visits can be several hundred dollars or more. Hospitalizations run in the thousands, sometimes tens of thousands. The average cost of a hospitalization to care for a baby with dehydration from rotavirus is $3,000-$5,000.

And if a child ends up with any disability from the illness paralysis from polio, or neurologic problems from encephalitis caused by measles or varicella, or meningitis caused by Haemophilus or pneumococcus the ongoing costs of treatments and special school services could be quite high.

How Does A Vaccine Work

Why the flu vaccine is so important

Some white blood cells produce antibodies, molecules that bind to specific parts of the invading germscalled antigens, targeting them for attack and destruction bywhite blood cells. The first time the body encounters a germ, it takesseveral days to make and use all the germ-fighting tools needed to getover the infection, including theproduction of antibodies.

After the first infection, theimmune system keeps amemory for years, decades, or even a lifetime of the germs for which ithad already produced antibodies,forming the bodys immunity. Whenthe body encounters the same germ, the defense response is both fasterand stronger.

Vaccines typically contain anantigen so that the immune systemcan build a memory of it. These can be on the form of attenuated orinactivated viruses or of a portionof the surface of a bacterium orvirus that theimmune system recognizes asforeign. A vaccine may also provide a non-active version of atoxin a poison produced bya bacterium so that the body can devise a defense against it.

Vaccines contribute thus todevelop immunity by imitating aninfection without causingthe illness, and by causing the body to produce theantibodies and the memory ofthe infection.

Don’t Miss: How Often Do I Need Meningococcal Vaccine

Many Medications Are Available For Treating Diseases And Other Problems Such As Worms In Livestock But By Far The Most Important Treatment You Can Give Your Animals Is Vaccinations Against The Diseases That Occur In Your Area Shane Brody Explains Why Vaccines Are Different To Other Medicines And Why They Are So Effective

I receive many phone calls from communal farmers requesting help with sheep, goats or cattle that are mysteriously dying. My first question is: were the dead animals vaccinated beforehand?

The answer is often Yes. But when I ask a few more questions, Im told that the livestock were vaccinated with Ivermax, Ecomectin or some other parasiticide.

While these are indeed important medicines that can be used to treat worms, mites or sheep scab, they are not vaccines!

What is a vaccine?In very simple terms, a vaccine contains parts of the disease itself , and this enables the body to develop an immune response. Put another way, the vaccine helps the body to produce antibodies trained to identify a pathogen and act against it.

A vaccine will not work as effectively if an animal is thin and hungry, or has a high parasite burden, as these problems compromise its immune system. It is therefore important toensure that your livestock are well fed and free of ectoparasites and internal worms.

Work together as a communityFarmers who run livestock on communal rangelands need to work together to vaccinate and treat their animals, because if only a few farmers have vaccinated and dewormed their animals, untreated animals will act as a reservoir for parasites and livestock diseases in the area, and the problems will continue.

Supplements also come with instructions, as they have undergone scientific evaluation. It is equally important to follow these instructions.

Where Can I Find Out More About Immunizations

Read Your Child’s Immunizations for details about each recommended immunization. You also can visit the CDC’s National Immunization Program website for more information about vaccinations.

And talk with your doctor about which immunizations your kids need. Working together, you can help keep your family healthy.

Don’t Miss: Is It Mandatory To Get The Meningitis Vaccine

Side Effects Of Vaccination

Most of the side effects of vaccination are mild and do not last long.

The most common side effects of vaccination include:

  • the area where the needle goes in looking red, swollen and feeling a bit sore for 2 to 3 days
  • babies or young children feeling a bit unwell or developing a high temperature for 1 or 2 days

Some children might also cry and be upset immediately after the injection. This is normal and they should feel better after a cuddle.

Measles And Mumps In England

Why Are Vaccines So Important?

Measles and mumps are starting to appear again in England, even though the MMR vaccine is safe and protects against both diseases.

Measles and mumps cases have nearly doubled in recent years:

Measles and mumps cases in England

How many measles and mumps cases there were in England in 2016 and 2018.

970 1061

This is serious as measles can lead to life-threatening complications like meningitis, and mumps can cause hearing loss.


If 95% of children receive the MMR vaccine, it’s possible to get rid of measles.

However, measles, mumps and rubella can quickly spread again if fewer than 90% of people are vaccinated.

Also Check: Where To Get Yellow Fever Vaccine In Houston

Immunizations Save Time And Money

Source: Carlos Ebert/Flickr

Practically speaking, vaccinations can save you in lost time and money over the long run. For example, non-immunized children can be denied attendance at schools.

Some diseases that immunizations have been developed for can also lead to long term health problems and disabilities if contracted. This will not only affect your quality of life, but it can also seriously affect your ability to work, cost you in medical bills.

Diseases like influenza can incapacitate you for up to 15 days. This typically means losing five or six workdays. Adults who suffer from hepatitis A tend to lose around 1 month of work too.

This is avoidable as they generally covered by health insurance or supplied by public health services at no additional charge .*

Why Do We Give Vaccines At Different Ages

Vaccines are given to people when they are at risk of contracting a disease. Children whose immune systems take time to develop are especially vulnerable, so many countries recommend vaccinating as early as is safe to do so, to make sure they are protected.

Measles, for example, killed 90,000 people globally in 2016, and is a major cause of death among young children. This is why children are given a measles vaccination at an early age.

However, certain diseases become a risk only later in life and so childhood vaccination is not needed. Human papillomavirus , which can cause cervical cancer, is transferred through sexual contact, so the HPV vaccine is commonly given to girls only once they have reached puberty.

Likewise, before the age of 65 most adults arent at risk of becoming seriously ill from influenza. However, as the body ages, its ability to fight flu decreases. Because of this, elderly people are one of five groups that WHO recommends receive seasonal flu vaccination.

Differences and changes in risk explain why vaccine programmes vary from region to region and over time.

Also Check: What Percentage Of Vaccination For Herd Immunity

Why Is Vaccination Important

As highlighted by the WHO,vaccination is one of the mostcost-effective health interventionsavailable, saving millions of people from illness, disability and deatheach year. Effective and safevaccines, which protect againstmore than 20 serious diseases, via what is calledimmunization are available andmany promising new vaccines are being developed. Vaccinations canprovide protection not just for the vaccinated person, but for thepopulation as a whole as well. This phenomenon, called communityimmunity or herd immunity,occurs when a large portion of the population is vaccinated, usuallyover 85%, depending on thedisease.

For WHO, the seven key reasons to immunize are that

  • Immunization saves lives: more than 3 millionlives worldwide each year, and it saves millions more from sufferingillness and lifelong disability
  • it is a basic right and a strategic, relatively inexpensivecomponent of poverty reduction programmes:
  • Vaccine-preventable diseases still pose a risk
  • Diseases can be controlled and eliminated
  • Immunization is cost-effective
  • Children depend on health systems to provide safe, effective andinexpensive immunization
  • Every child needs to be vaccinated
  • WHO has estimated that if all thevaccines now available againstchildhood diseases were widely adopted, and if countries could raisevaccine coverage to aglobal average of 90%, by 2015 an additional two million deaths a yearcould be prevented among children under five years old.

    What Is The Immune System

    Doctors talk about why the coronavirus vaccine for children is so important

    The immune system is a network of cells, tissues, and organs that work together to defend the body from harmful germs. When bacteria, viruses, and other germs invade your body, they multiply and attack. This invasion is called an infection. Infections cause the diseases that make you sick.

    Your immune system protects you from the disease by fighting off the invading germs.

    Also Check: Why Is Hpv Vaccine Recommended

    How Are Vaccines Studied And Improved

    The FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research is the government agency that regulates vaccines in the United States. Working with the CDC and the NIH, they continuously research and monitor vaccine safety and effectiveness.

    New vaccines are licensed only after thorough laboratory studies and clinical trials, and safety monitoring continues even after a vaccine has been approved. There have been and will continue to be improvements that will minimize potential side effects and ensure the best possible safety standards.

    Reduction In Secondary Infections That Complicate Vaccine

    The introduction of the live-attenuated measles vaccine in the 1970s was observed to reduce both measles and non-measles mortality in children . Measles causes severe pneumonia, encephalitis, and the long-term sequel of subacute sclerosing panencephalitis , but the decline in mortality was not limited to preventing these alone . Mathematical modeling of vaccination and immunological research demonstrated that measles causes an immunological amnesia, eliminating B cell populations and thus immune memory, leaving measles survivors susceptible to all the infective agents they had previously developed immunity against it is estimated to take 3 years for immune recovery to occur .

    You May Like: Is Pneumovax 23 A Live Vaccine

    How Safe Is Vaccination

    Vaccinations are very safe for the vast majority of people. But, that being said, no vaccine is ever 100% side effect free or, for that matter, effective.

    “First, no vaccine is 100% effective. To make vaccines safer than the disease, the bacteria or virus is killed or weakened . For reasons related to the individual, not all vaccinated persons develop immunity. Most routine childhood vaccines are effective for 85% to 95% of recipients.” – World Health Organization.

    Why Are Vaccines The Most Efficient Way Of Preventing Infectious Diseases

    Why the 2021 flu vaccine is so important

    Safety and efficacy are the two most critical aspects of vaccination. That is why experts emphasise long and phase-wise trials to gauge the efficacy and safety of vaccines. Monitoring and handling Adverse Event Following Immunization for every vaccine against any infections is another important component.

    Also Check: When Is Meningitis Vaccine Given

    Why Childhood Immunizations Are Important

    Childhood vaccines or immunizations can seem overwhelming when you are a new parent. Vaccine schedules recommended by agencies and organizations, such as the CDC, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the American Academy of Family Physicians cover about 14 different diseases.

    Vaccinations not only protect your child from deadly diseases, such as polio, tetanus, and diphtheria, but they also keep other children safe by eliminating or greatly decreasing dangerous diseases that used to spread from child to child.

    A vaccine is a dead, or weakened version, or part of the germ that causes the disease in question. When children are exposed to a disease in vaccine form, their immune system, which is the body’s germ-fighting machine, is able to build up antibodies that protect them from contracting the disease if and when they are exposed to the actual disease.

    Over the years, vaccines have generated some controversy over safety, but no convincing evidence of harm has been found. And although children can have a reaction to any vaccine, the important thing to know is that the benefits of vaccinations far outweigh the possible side effects.

    Popular Articles
    Related news