Parents are constantly concerned about the health and safety of their children and take many steps to protect them. In the same way, vaccines work to protect infants, children, and adults from illnesses and death caused by infectious diseases.
It is important to understand that disease prevention is the key to public health. It is always better to prevent a disease than to treat it.
Vaccines control certain diseases in people who are immunised and also protect those who come into contact with unvaccinated individuals.
This implies that vaccines help prevent infectious diseases and save lives.
Vaccines are responsible for the control of many infectious diseases that were once common in tropical countries and some are still exisistang.
Vaccinations through various immunization programs is done against diseases such as polio, measles, diphtheria, whooping cough, rubella, mumps, tetanus, and haemophilus influenza Type b.
Through massive immunization programs, young children and newly born babies survive.
Though newborn babies get support or maternal immunity against many diseases they need extra formation of antibodies after vaccination.
This is due to the short duration of maternal immunity that usually lasts between a month to about a year.
Further still, young children do not have maternal immunity against some diseases such as Whooping Cough that can be prevented by vaccines.
If a child is not vaccinated and is exposed to a disease germ, the child’s body may not be strong enough to fight the disease.
In the past that before vaccines existed, many children died from diseases that are now curable from vaccination.
Those same germs exist today, and newborns are now protected.
Immunising individual children also helps to protect the healthy children within the community.
Children who are not immunised include those who are too young to be vaccinated for example children less than a year old cannot receive the measles vaccine but can be infected by the measles virus.
Those who cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons include children with leukemia, and those who cannot make an adequate response to vaccination.
Also protected are people who received a vaccine, but who have not developed immunity.
In addition, people who are sick are less likely to be exposed to disease germs that can be passed around by those who are not vaccinated. Therefore, we can say that immunization also slows down and further stops disease spread.
In communities where immunization programmes are targeted, the likelihood of disease transmission from an infected person to another is greatly diminished.
Therefore, learning the causes of infection and the spread of a disease has been the backbone towards developing vaccines. These are eventually used in the immunization process.