The process of becoming immune or resistant to a disease by the means of a vaccine is known as immunization. About 85% of children around the globe get vaccinated annually.
Immunization is without a doubt one of the most economical and convenient means of preventing infectious diseases and building resistance to chronic diseases caused by infectious agents.
With the aid of vaccines, children find themselves protected from diseases like diarrhoea, measles, pneumonia, polio and whooping cough, among other infectious diseases most of which affect children at a very young age.
Making immunization easily accessible globally has become a prerequisite for global health institutions like WHO. Vaccines help countries focus on long term goals like education and economic growth by securing the future and health of their children. However, complete global access to vaccines is sadly not a reality yet
Here’s why immunization so important –
- Immunization prevents close to 2-3 million deaths in all age groups from diseases like diphtheria, measles, tetanus, whooping cough, etc,. According to WHO, 2.5 million more lives can be saved every year if global immunization coverage is increased.
- As of 2016, close to 86% of children received three dosages of the DTP3 vaccine. Contrary to recent beliefs among many parents, vaccines do save lives without causing any adverse effects in the day-to-day life of children.
- Research and development in the field of vaccines has been on the rise, paving a way for vaccines against fatal diseases like dengue and malaria.
- Measles, a highly contagious disease which can lead to blindness & death, has claimed lesser and lesser lives due to vaccination. Measles mortality rate has decreased by almost 84%.
- Eradication of polio is almost a reality with just a few areas of Pakistan, Nigeria, and Afghanistan being affected by polio in 2016. India has been declared to be a polio-free state. Any recorded polio outbreaks in other parts of the world have been curbed.
- Maternal and neonatal tetanus has been eliminated in many regions of South-East Asia & Americas, right after Europe.
- Vaccines help prevent the spread of antibiotic resistance. Drug-resistant bacteria exist due to overuse and misuse of antibiotics, but vaccines help build a foundation of a definite defence system against antimicrobial resistance.
Vaccinations protect one and all. As a parent, it is your duty to protect your child, and getting him/her vaccinated is the perfect place to start.