World Immunization Week is a health campaign observed annually in the last week of April. It aims to inform the public about the importance of vaccines for the health of millions of people worldwide. Children and adults miss out on necessary vaccinations for various reasons, which raises their risk of contracting diseases like polio, measles, and smallpox. This week’s goal is to identify barriers to vaccine access and find ways to remove them for the benefit of the world’s population. People now understand that nobody is truly immune to disease.
History of World Immunization Week
Even though immunization had significantly progressed in Asia and Africa, it was still risky. When vaccination became widely recognized as a means of preventing smallpox, it only took off in England toward the end of the 18th century. While she was waiting to see the doctor, a patient made an intriguing remark. She remarked that she could not contract smallpox because she already had cowpox. Edward Jenner, a young medical student, was alerted to her statement. While completing his studies in London, he became fixated on the concept.
After graduating, he began practising medicine in his hometown of Gloucestershire, where he eventually realized the woman was correct. He discovered that people who had cowpox had a lower risk of contracting smallpox while researching a smallpox cure. After completing the required experiments, he administered a mild dose of cowpox to ensure their defence against the terrible smallpox pandemic.
When Jenner carried out another significant test in 1798, Four kids received a weak dose of smallpox to immunize them against the illness after receiving a cowpox vaccination as a preventative measure. He had a point because none of them contracted smallpox. He made the important vaccination discovery, which has since assisted researchers in creating several vaccines to fend off deadly diseases.
Significance of World Immunization Week
Immunization has been essential in preventing people from a variety of health issues. It is one of the most practical and affordable health interventions the world has ever seen. Since vaccination is one of the best health precautions, a person can take for their good, the campaign strongly emphasizes raising awareness of the importance of immunization. In addition to preventing infectious diseases and significant outbreaks, vaccinations are key in fostering antimicrobial resistance.
How do you observe World Immunization Week?
Learn about the evolution of vaccinations
Learn about the various illnesses that have afflicted humanity over time by visiting your neighborhood library or browsing the internet. Investigate their responses to the pandemics as well.
Boost your immune system
People with weakened immune systems are more prone to contracting viruses. Working on boosting your immunity is another method of preventing life-threatening diseases in addition to vaccinations.
Raise money for immunization campaigns
Join forces with various charitable organizations that immunize children against measles and chickenpox worldwide. You can help by contributing money to the research and development of vaccines, which requires funds.
Why is Immunization more important than ever?
- Numerous deadly diseases, including diphtheria and meningococcal disease, are prevented by vaccinations.
- Additionally, it lessens the chance of an infection spreading from an immunized person to those nearby.
- When enough population members become immune to an infectious disease, herd immunity sets in, and the disease halts.
- Infections that still occur after vaccination have a shorter duration and fewer symptoms.
- Infants, children, pregnant women, and adults can receive vaccinations without risk. Most vaccines have negligible or no side effects, such as fever, pain at the injection site, or muscle pains.
- The benefits of vaccination include a longer, healthier life.
How do Vaccines Work?
Biological agents created by humans, vaccines are a highly effective and generally secure method of preventing infectious diseases. Our immune system recognizes vaccine pathogens as foreign invaders after vaccination and tries to eliminate them. Our immune system fights these foreign invaders, remembers them, and reacts appropriately when the disease-causing virus invades.
The interaction and response between hosts and pathogens in our bodies is a complex process. Our body develops antibodies against weakened pathogens after getting the proper vaccination. These antibodies typically take one to two weeks to build in our body. We can still get sick during this period. Ongoing immune defense against pathogens, once antibodies get produced and activated within our body.
The effectiveness of the vaccine depends on several variables, including:
- Immune systems produce antibodies through vaccinations, just as when the disease enters the body. It is so that you won’t come in contact of disease or experience its complications; vaccines only include dead or weakened versions of germs.
- Vaccines are administered at various ages, from infancy to childhood. The vaccination card keeps track of this information. It is crucial to confirm that all of these vaccinations are current.
- Combination vaccinations for diseases like DPT are safe for children to receive; this results in fewer injections and pain.
- A few side effects from vaccinations can include fever, swelling or pain at the point of injection. Mild reactions naturally disappear within 2-3 days.
- It is safe to administer vaccines during any minor illnesses. Whether they have a fever or not, If children have any disease need to wait till they get better.
For what diseases vaccination are available?
Vaccination and immunization are the most effective medical methods for preventing infectious diseases. Worldwide immunization has eradicated smallpox and controlled many diseases in multiple nations, including polio, tetanus, and measles. Vaccines used in immunization programs are effective against some infectious diseases, including:
- Hepatitis A
- Hepatitis B
- Human papillomavirus
- Haemophilus influenza type b
- Meningococcal infection
- Poliomyelitis (polio)
- Pneumococcal infection
- COVID-19 infection
Is it possible for a Vaccine to Cause the Illness It Is Intended to Treat?
Any vaccine created using dead (killed) bacteria or viruses, or just a portion of the bacteria or virus, cannot cause the disease.
Immunization poses a very low risk of disease. In the US, the oral polio vaccine is one live virus vaccine that is no longer in use. The inactivated polio vaccine, which contains a killed virus form, was able to take the place of OPV thanks to the success of the polio vaccination program. Due to this modification, children in the United States who have received polio vaccinations cannot spread the disease. However, OPV is still widely used in many other nations and has effectively lowered the global caseload.
Will Depending on a Vaccine Weaken the Immune System?
No, whether a germ is encountered naturally or through a vaccine, the immune system produces antibodies against it. The immune response to a different disease is not weakened by vaccination against one disease.