The role of vaccines in disease prevention

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The Role of Vaccines in Disease Prevention and Good Health

Vaccines are one of the most powerful tools for disease prevention and good health. Vaccines help protect people from infectious diseases, such as polio, diphtheria, smallpox, and measles. Vaccines are also responsible for eradicating smallpox in the world.

What Are Vaccines?

Vaccines use small amounts of weakened or killed viruses or bacteria to prompt an immune response. This response teaches the body’s immune system to recognize and fight the virus, bacteria, or other pathogen if it ever enters the body again. The body develops protection against the disease without experiencing symptoms or harm.

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The Benefits of Vaccines

  • Protects the Community: Vaccines help protect the larger community, especially those who are vulnerable such as the elderly, young children, or people with weakened immune systems. When enough people in the community are vaccinated, the virus spread is limited, and the risk of infection is reduced for everyone. This is known as herd immunity.
  • Saves Lives: Vaccines can save lives, prevent disability, and protect against health care costs. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that, globally, 2 to 3 million deaths are prevented each year through the use of vaccines.
  • Protection from Disease Outbreaks: Vaccines help fight against disease outbreaks and slow transmission of virus diseases. Outbreaks of vaccine-preventable illnesses, such as the measles, demonstrate how quickly the virus can spread when effective immunization levels are not maintained.

Recommended Vaccines

It is important to talk to your healthcare provider to find out which vaccines and screenings are recommended for you. Vaccines range from the ones given to babies to those recommended for adults. Recommended vaccines include those for the flu, measles, mumps, rubella, tetanus, bacterial meningitis, and whooping cough.

Vaccinating Your Children

Parents should take their children to get the recommended vaccines. Doing so helps protect children from serious and potentially deadly diseases, as outlined by their healthcare provider. Vaccines are given in successive stages to ensure a full protection against the disease.

Summary

Vaccines play an important role in protecting people against infectious diseases and building a healthier society. Vaccines are recommended at different stages of life, such as childhood, pre-teen and adulthood. By being vaccinated, individuals can help protect themselves and their communities from contagious diseases and outbreaks.

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