Immunization is a world health and development success statement, saving millions of lives each year. Vaccines work remarkably in reducing the risk of getting the disease by triggering the body's natural defenses to build protection. When you get a vaccine shot, your immune system responds. Immunization is a vital element of primary health care and an undeniable human right. It's also one of the best health assets money can buy.
November 10 is observed as World Immunization Day every year, which aims to spread the incredible health benefits of getting vaccinated and how it can prevent many diseases and disorders. Vaccination has become the need of the hour in today's world. A breakthrough in helping to eradicate many illnesses since age-old times, such as measles, mumps, rubella, polio, smallpox, and the latest pandemic, COVID-19 that has been infecting millions of people over the past few years, the importance of vaccination cannot be stressed enough.
Though there have been many myths about getting vaccinated, awareness of this campaign becomes critical in educating people about the importance of immunization and debunking myths around it, especially after the emergence of new virulent sub-variants of Covid-19. As per World Health Organization, vaccines have prevented over 10 million deaths in the last few years and helped to protect a lot more people from catching many types of infections or diseases.
When Did Immunisation Began?
Immunization is not new to humans and dates to as early as the 12th century. Edward Jenner, the founder of vaccinology, inoculated a child with the vaccinia virus to attain immunity to smallpox in 1796. Following this, smallpox vaccination was used extensively around the world, resulting in the elimination of smallpox from the globe. In 1897 Louis Pasteur inoculated humans with the anthrax vaccine that immunized people against cholera. The 20th century saw a great increase in the field of vaccines, with discovery, research, and development leading to further innovations. One such development was the polio vaccine, which was considered a great development in this domain. Besides immunizing people against these ailments, there has been a major reduction in the cases of bacterial meningitis in the last few years due to immunization against the same.
Why is Immunization Important?
A key component of primary health care, one of the most successful and cost-effective health interventions that the world has seen, immunization has been inevitable in protecting people from many health problems. Therefore, the campaign stresses creating awareness about the power of immunization since it is one of the best health measures that a human can take for his own good. Vaccines not only control infectious diseases and major outbreaks but also is a primary tool in providing antimicrobial resistance.
Advantages Of Getting Vaccinated
The terms vaccination and immunization are not the same. Vaccination is the term used for getting a vaccine in the form of an injection or an oral vaccine dose, while immunization is a process of getting immune to the disease following a specific vaccination. Some vaccines are given as shots, and some are given orally, but there is not much difference in the outcome. Timely vaccination and immunization help us in the following ways:
Saving Many Lives
The purpose of immunization is to enable us to live a healthy lifestyle, thus contributing to an increase in our average life span. While people do not realize the importance of vaccination, it helps in the prevention of over 3 to 4 million deaths each year.
Creates Herd Immunity
Due to certain illnesses, co-morbidity, or fear of vaccination, most people may choose not to get vaccinated. However, when the remaining others are vaccinated, the unvaccinated ones are likely to get sick since the disease will not spread. An immune person will not be fearful of catching or spreading the disease.
Vaccines reduce the risks of getting a disease by working in tandem with our body's natural defense system to build protection. When we get a vaccine, the immune system gets shielded against that virus or organism, which makes our system strong and safe.
Improves Quality Of Life
To lead a healthy life, one needs to be free from the fear of getting afflicted with ailments. While some can be handled on our own, some only vaccines can protect us from and can help enhance our quality of life by keeping us disease free.