World Immunization Week is celebrated every year from April 24- 30, to improve the effective usage of vaccines and to protect people of all age groups against vaccine-preventable infections. Immunization is a boon for mankind as it can safeguard people from more than 25 different infection-causing agents, such as diphtheria, measles, pertussis, polio and tetanus to mention a few. Also Read: World Immunization Week: Know The Power Of Vaccines
The World Health Organization (WHO) says that active immunization prevents nearly 2 to 3 million deaths every year. But, still, there are 22 million children all over the globe who are not being vaccinated in the developing countries. This year's theme is “Vaccines Work For All” which focuses on how vaccines and people who develop, deliver and receive are the real heroes by working hard to safeguard the health of everyone, across the globe. Also Read: World Immunization Day: 5 Common Myths Debunked
Foray this article to get an insight about know how vaccines work and protect the lives of people.
How Do Vaccines Work?
Vaccines trigger the immunity by mimicking an infection, however, this type of infection is very mild and does not cause any illness, and it makes the body to build the immune system by producing T-lymphocytes and antibodies. We generally experience a low-grade fever after getting vaccinated, this is quite normal as the body is boosting the immune response.
As the mimicking infection settles, the body is left with huge reserves of “memory” T-lymphocytes and B-lymphocytes that will remind the body on how to combat infection in the future. If any person who had been vaccinated comes in contact with an infection, the body works effectively to prevent you from getting infections or it may be very mild.
All vaccinations are developed after meticulously testing to validate its safety and effectiveness in safeguarding against infectious disease. Some of the vaccine-preventable diseases include:
- Pertussis (whooping Cough)
- Poliomyelitis (polio)
- Haemophilus Influenzae Type B Infections
- Hepatitis B
- Pneumococcal Infections
- Cervical cancer
- Rotavirus diarrhoea
Outbreak Of Diseases And Vaccines Role
Several infectious diseases are now very rare or not existing, thanks to life-saving vaccination. However, there are still many outbreaks of the infectious disease developing all over the globe today.
In February 2016 the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the Zika virus, which is a mosquito-transmitted disease, as an international health emergency due to its massive outbreaks in Central and South America. Evidence reveals that still cases of Zika virus spreading are reported in America, Africa and other parts of the World.
Ebola is a virus disease originated in the Democratic Republic of Congo in August 2018, and it is still ongoing.
The first cases of HIV were reported in the gay community in America in 1981 and by 1985 a minimum of one case had been reported all over the globe. The latest statistics disclose that more than 36.9 million people around the globe are living with AIDS, though there is still no cure with modern treatment plan patients are managing the condition and living healthy.
So, far no vaccines are available for zika, ebola and HIV, however, researches are underway.
In December 2019, a novel strain of SARS-CoV-2 virus triggered severe respiratory illness known as COVID-19 was first detected in a subset of people who had visited the wet market in Wuhan, in the Hubei province of China. It is a contagious disease now spreading at an alarming pace all over the globe infecting more than millions of people and claimed lives of more than one lakh people, it can be dispersed from an infected patient to a healthy individual by direct contact, through droplets containing the deadly virus and the World Health Organization have declared this as a Pandemic.
Coronavirus And Vaccine Progress
Scientists all over the world are working at breakneck speed and there are currently more than 20 vaccines developed. Those underways at the moment include:
The first human trial for a vaccine that was announced in March by a US-based lab in Seattle and they are taking the rare route of swapping any animal research to test the efficacy of the vaccines.
An Israeli scientist at Tel Aviv University, with US patent, is working on innovative vaccine design for the SARS-CoV-2 group of viruses.
Australian researchers have started the trail by injecting ferrets with two potent vaccines and it is the first pre-clinical trial to move to the animal testing stage and they hope soon to move to the human testing phase by end of April.
India is also surging ahead in developing a vaccine against COVID-19 and the focus is on developing the human clinical trials of the recombinant Bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG) vaccines as an immunity booster. The Department of Biotechnology along with pharma companies is working on a vaccine and it is estimated to complete the trial in the next 12-18 months.