Vaccination is the most important thing we can do to protect ourselves and our children against ill health. Many dangerous infectious diseases can be prevented in this simple and effective way. They prevent up to 3 million deaths worldwide every year.
Here are some of the reasons why immunization is important
- Vaccines provide safeguard against infectious diseases.
- Many infectious diseases are not seen these days, due to the protection provided by vaccination of children, adolescents, adults and elderly.
- Vaccination provides protection to vaccine recipients and indirect protection to the community, especially for people who cannot receive their vaccines due to medical reasons.
- Vaccinations are generally safe. The risks from diseases are much greater than the risks from vaccines.
- The vaccine is cost effective preventive measures. If the person got the infection, the cost of hospitalization, doctor visit and absence from work is high.
Some facts about immunity
- Newborn babies are immune to many diseases because they have antibodies they got from their mothers. However, this immunity goes away during the first year of life.
- If an unvaccinated child is exposed to a disease germ, the child’s body may not be strong enough to fight the disease. Before vaccines, many children died from diseases that vaccines now prevent, such as whooping cough, measles, and polio. Those same germs exist today, but because babies are protected by vaccines, we don’t see these diseases nearly as often.
- Immunizing individual children also helps to protect the health of our community, especially those people who cannot be immunized (children who are too young to be vaccinated, or those who can’t receive certain vaccines for medical reasons), and the small proportion of people who don’t respond to a particular vaccine.
- Vaccine-preventable diseases have a costly impact, resulting in doctor’s visits, hospitalizations, and premature deaths. Sick children can also cause parents to lose time from work.